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The Queensland Government has introduced laws to regulate the construction or modification of levee banks. These laws became effective on 16 May 2014. If you propose to build a new levee or modify an existing levee from this date, you need to comply with this regulation.
Levee banks are defined as artificial embankments which prevent or reduce overland flow. Some structures which act as levees are excluded from the definition.
These exclusions include:
Levees play an important role in floodplain management. They also have the potential to impact on neighbouring properties, the community and the catchment as a whole. It is therefore important to provide a consistent and effective method for regulating them.
The Water Act 2000 defines what a levee is and provides that the construction of a new levee or the modification of an existing levee is now an 'assessable development' under the Planning Regulation 2017. This means that any person planning to construct or modify a levee must give consideration to the potential effects of their levee on the movement of floodwater, and how this could affect other people and properties.
The level of assessment of a levee will depend on the levee category. There are three categories which are determined by the level of impact of the proposed levee:
Landholders will need to apply for a development approval for category 2 or 3 levees. Local councils are responsible for assessing levee applications. As assessment managers, councils are able to make decisions about levees based on their vision for their local government area and their specific planning and management needs.
To construct or modify a category 2 or 3 levee, an application must utilise DA Form 1.