Molino Stewart was engaged by Penrith City Council to lead the preparation of the new Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan for Penrith CBD Catchment. The catchment covers the Penrith CBD bounded by the Main Western Railway Line to the north, the Northern Road / Parker Street to the east, Jamison Road to the south and Mulgoa Road to the west. As part of the project, Molino Stewart led an innovative bottom-up approach to community engagement, based on “drop in” sessions, and the use of community forums and dedicated communication channels to reach out to specific stakeholders, including the developer community and the Chamber of Commerce. Additional tasks included re-running the flood modelling with updated LiDAR and stormwater system, assessing risk to property and life, and identifying/evaluating suitable flood mitigation options. These included options to re-utilise disconnected parts of the stormwater system, which could potentially bring significant benefits at very low costs.
The proposed measures in the plan were provisionally prioritised based on their economic, social and environmental benefits and their feasibility. The overarching aim of the plan is to inform advanced strategic planning and emergency response measures to balance high-rise redevelopment and flood risk, and to acknowledge the emergency management challenges of local overland flooding potentially occurring before or during a flood event from the Nepean River.
The study was prepared under the guidance of the Penrith City Floodplain Management Committee, which includes representatives from the local community, Councillors, Council staff, neighbouring councils and state agency representatives including the NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES), the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, and Infrastructure NSW. After a period of public exhibition late last year (FM November 2019), the study has officially been adopted by Council in its Ordinary Meeting 23 March 2020. The report is available to view here.