SEMP Flood Sub-Plan


This plan outlines the Victorian arrangements for managing flood across all emergency management phases, and replaces the State Emergency Response Plan – Flood Sub-Plan Edition 2 published in September 2021.

The plan’s purpose is to provide sources of information and to outline the arrangements for ensuring an integrated and coordinated approach to the state’s management of flood events, in order to reduce the impact and consequences of these events on the community, infrastructure and services. This supports a comprehensive, integrated and coordinated approach, and reflects a shared responsibility for flood related emergency management.


Victoria’s state-level emergency risk assessment, Emergency Risks in Victoria, was published in 2020, and set Victoria’s emergency risk profile. Floods were assessed as a ‘state significant risk’, meaning significant floods were assessed as being a critical and credible scenario for the state.

In alignment with the State Emergency Management Plan (SEMP), this plan contextualises the current arrangements, roles and responsibilities for flood mitigation, preparedness, response (including relief) and recovery.

VICSES, on behalf of the Emergency Management Commissioner (EMC), coordinated the development of this plan in conjunction with:

  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). 
  • Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). 
  • Melbourne Water. 
  • Catchment Management Authorities (CMA’s). 
  • Department of Health.
  • Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH).
  • Local Government Victoria. 
  • Municipal Association of Victoria.

Consultation was conducted with a range of other emergency management agencies.


This plan is predominantly in relation to flooding inundation caused by rivers and river systems including their catchments and floodplains. Flash flooding and flooding inundation caused by other natural events are out of scope for this plan and are addressed in the SEMP Storm Sub-plan.
The scope of this plan includes:

  • Description of potential and observed consequences of floods to the social, built, economic and natural environments.
  • The policy, practices, and programs in place to mitigate flood risks and build community resilience before, during and after a flood event.
  • Where relevant, the arrangements and practices for managing flood response and positions with accountability and the agencies responsible for managing specific strategies.
  • The multi-agency management arrangements at the national, state, regional and local levels.
  • Links to sources of information where the reader can obtain further detail.

References are made to the SEMP where necessary to avoid duplication. It does not include detail about the operational activities of individual agencies.


This plan recognises that emergency management and supporting communities to be safer and more resilient, is the shared responsibility of all Victorians, not just the emergency management sector. 

The audience for this plan comprises the Victorian Government and agencies within the emergency management sector, including business and community groups with a significant role in the mitigation of, response to and recovery from floods.

Date of Publication


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