NSW Government establishes

independent flood inquiry

Acting Premier Paul Toole has established an independent flood inquiry to examine and report on the causes of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from, the 2022 catastrophic flood event.

Flooding at Jilliby.

22 March 2022


An Independent Flood Inquiry will be chaired by Professor Mary O’Kane AC and Michael Fuller APM to report on:

  • the causes of and factors contributing to the frequency, intensity, timing and location of floods;


  • preparation and planning by agencies and the community for floods in NSW;


  • responses to floods, particularly measures to protect life, property and the environment;


  • the transition from incident response to recovery;


  • recovery, including housing, clean-up, financial support, community engagement and longer-term community rebuilding.

The Inquiry will consider and, if warranted, make recommendations on a range of matters, including:


  • the safety of emergency services and community first responders;


  • current and future land use planning and management and building standards in flood prone locations across NSW;


  • appropriate action to adapt to future flood risks to communities and their surrounds;


  • coordination and collaboration between all levels of government.

Mr Toole said the review would ensure NSW can quickly get on with improving its preparation for, and response to, flood risk.

“We have always said we will take whatever action we can to improve our management of natural disasters, and this inquiry is an important step in that process,” Mr Toole said.

“No two floods are the same and there is no formulaic response, but when it comes to natural disasters  we can never be too prepared.

“The  Inquiry will sit alongside our flood recovery efforts, and we’ll continue to put everything we can into ensuring we get impacted people and communities back on their feet as quickly as possible.”

The Inquiry is required to report to the Premier on causation, land use planning and management and related matters by 30 June 2022, and on all other matters by 30 September 2022.

“The reviewers will travel to and consult directly with affected communities, and details of public consultation and submission making opportunities will be published soon,” Mr Toole said.


Full terms of reference for the inquiry are available at:

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