South Gippsland Shire Council

Flood information for the South Gippsland Shire Council encompassing local flood guides and  Municipal Flood and Emergency Plan.

On this page:


South Gippsland Shire Council municipal map
   South Gippsland Shire Council municipal map.

There have been a number of significant flood events in South Gippsland including in 1934, 1990,
March 2011, May 2012 and June 2012. These events have caused significant infrastructure and property damage, as well as tragically the loss of lives.

The area is characterised by steep ranges to the north which contain the headwaters of a number of waterways in the Shire, and the slopes that run through the region result in patches of rolling hills and steep farmland. Other areas in South Gippsland are very flat, especially near the coast, where the lowlands extend for many kilometres.

The predominant riverine flooding risk is on the Tarwin River at Tarwin Lower, Fish Creek and Meeniyan and associated rural areas.

Short duration, high intensity rainfall (usually associated with thunderstorms) can cause flash flooding throughout South Gippsland.

The lead time to respond to a flood event may be limited. All households and businesses at risk of flooding should develop an emergency plan and beware of their flood risk.

Are you at risk of flood?

Tarwin Valley Local Flood Guide
   Click to enlarge.

The Tarwin Valley is subject to riverine flooding, flash flooding, and coastal storm surge flooding, which has a similar effect to King Tides.

The Tarwin River can flood due to prolonged rain over a number of days, causing the river to rise and burst its banks. The southern floodplain and areas downstream from the town towards Venus Bay are more likely to experience flooding from storm surges.

Storm surge flooding is common during winter months and is caused primarily by prolonged south-westerly or westerly winds that accompany cold fronts, causing flooding in low-lying areas. If this happens during a high tide, the effect of flooding is greater.

Driving through floodwater is dangerous. In minor flooding events, plan your travel to and from Tarwin Lower and Venus Bay during low tides. During flooding, the Tarwin River can change flow direction as it is influenced by the tides.

When the tide is rising, and the river is flowing quickly due to high rainfalls upstream, the river can change direction slightly crossing the Inverloch-Venus Bay Road south of the Tarwin River Bridge near the fishing platforms. This area is incredibly dangerous for drivers and often closes during flooding.

The map to the right shows the expected impacts on Tarwin Lower and Middle Tarwin in the event of a 1% flood in the area. A 1% flood means there is a 1% chance of a flood this size occurring in any year. You can use these as a guide to understanding the impacts of the Tarwin River flooding.

About Flood Guides

Communities can use local flood guides to identify and better understand their local flood risk. They include information about: flood history, how to prepare & respond to floods and who to contact.

Contact Information

For more information, contact the East Region Offices.
For information on flood warnings, see the VicEmergency website.
Visit the South Gippsland Shire Council website.
Your local Catchment Mangement Authority: West Gippsland.

Local VICSES Units

  • Leongatha VICSES Unit:
  • 12 Watson Rd,
  • Leongatha
  • Foster VICSES Unit:
  • 14 Pioneer St,
  • Foster VIC 3960

Municipal Flood Emergency Plan (MFEP)

Municipalities can use Municipal Flood Emergency Plans to prepare, respond and recover from flood and storm events.
South Gippsland Shire Council Flood and Storm Emergency Plan - Updated Feb, 2013