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Levees on Crown Land


Levee Maintenance Permits

Victorian landholders can now apply to their local Catchment Management Authority (CMA) for a permit to pass over Crown land to access and maintain a levee, following an amendment to the Water Act 1989.

In the North East region, landholders can now apply to North East CMA for a permit to access and maintain existing levees on Crown Land in order to actively reduce the flood risk to their property by undertaking levee maintenance years before a flood occurs. Previously, landholders needed to seek approval under several different land acts.

The crown land that the permit scheme applies to includes national parks, state forests, state wildlife reserves and nature reserves, unreserved and reserved Crown land. Wilderness zones, heritage river catchment areas and land proclaimed as reference areas are excluded.

Maintenance includes fixing erosion, dealing with rabbit burrows and removing vegetation. It does not include changing the levee's original location, height and width, building a new levee, or removing an existing one, as this could impact on the effectiveness of other levees in the area.

The permit can be issued for up to five years. However, the use of machinery and the introduction of any soil or other material must take place within the first 12 months of the permit. North East CMA will work with land managers to set conditions to reduce the impact of works on the Crown Land and its flora and fauna.

For more information about the permits, please call the North East CMA on 1300 216 513 or email planning@necma.vic.gov.au 


How to apply for a Levee permit:

• The Pre-application Enquiry Form will advise the CMA that you intend to apply for a levee maintenance permit. Following submission of this Form the CMA will gather information for you on the land upon which the levee is located – including inquiring into any licenses over the land - which will assist you in applying for a levee maintenance permit.

• The Application Kit describes what a Levee Maintenance Permit is and how to apply for one.

• The Application form is the form that must be submitted to the CMA for assessment of the proposed maintenance works.

The Sample Work Plan Template covers the typical items that an applicant will need to complete to demonstrate compliance with a levee maintenance permit.



Permit Variations:

If for some reason there is a need to vary a permit that has been issued, the permit holder can apply to the North East CMA to vary the permit.  The Application to Vary a Permit form should be completed and sent to the CMA for assessment. 

Levee Resources:

Levees are an important part of Victoria's flood management infrastructure and can be highly effective in containing flood waters. However, without proper planning and management, including maintenance, they can become ineffective or even add to flood risk and hamper flood response and recovery.

Communities and individuals need to develop a plan to manage their levees, covering issues such as where the levees are located, their design, and how they will be managed.

The Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) developed Levee Management Guidelines in consultation with practitioners and managers in the field in response to several recommendations of the Parliament of Victoria Environment and Natural Resources Committee (ENRC) Inquiry into Flood Mitigation Infrastructure in Victoria (August 2012). The guidelines provide levee owners and managers, such as councils and landowners, with high-level guidance for the whole-of-life-cycle management of various types of levees. These include permanent earthen embankments, concrete walls, and demountable and temporary structures.

The guidelines cover important aspects of levee design, construction, maintenance, renewal or decommissioning. They also describe what levee owners or managers need to do to ensure the successful management of a levee before, during and after a flood.

DEP 8419 Levee design construction and management guidelines