Stormwater management is about protecting our waterways from pollutants and increased or concentrated water flow, utilising rainwater and stormwater as a resource, and managing stormwater flood risk for the wellbeing and resilience of our communities.

The Draft Stormwater Management Strategy (SMS) provides the direction for future stormwater management on the Sunshine Coast.

Meeting the stormwater management needs of our growing community in a changing climate is critical to achieving council's vision 'Australia's most sustainable region - Healthy. Smart. Creative.

Once finalised, implementation of the SMS will help to address existing issues and prepare the region for future stormwater management challenges.

Community engagement

Council invited the community to provide feedback on the Draft Stormwater Management Strategy to help shape the future of stormwater management in the region.

Consultation closed on 14 May 2021.


Stormwater is runoff from rainfall. In urban areas it is captured by a series of pits and then conveyed underground through pipes and culverts. It also travels as surface flow in open drains, roadways, natural channels and overland flow paths. As stormwater travels over the landscape it can become contaminated with litter and other pollutants. Stormwater is ultimately discharged to local waterways, which drain to the ocean.

Stormwater management aims to protect people and property from unacceptable flooding risks, minimise adverse impacts to the natural and built environment, and ensure that stormwater is valued as a resource.

Stormwater flooding is typically very localised and is sometimes referred to as flash flooding. It is different to creek or river flooding and storm surge events, which are regional types of flooding.

Stormwater management is the term used for planning, setting policy, implementing actions, and delivering and managing stormwater infrastructure.

Purpose of the Stormwater Management Strategy

The strategy seeks to identify the key issues for council relating to stormwater management and establish a series of objectives, strategic directions, policy positions and actions to address these issues.

It builds upon the work done in the Environment and Liveability Strategy and other council documents to provide a consistent, strategic direction for stormwater management on the Sunshine Coast. The development of the new Planning Scheme will also be informed by the Strategy.

The strategy also aims to raise awareness of the importance of effective stormwater management so that the community, the development industry and other levels of government can all play their part.

The strategy aims to provide the Sunshine Coast community with:

  • healthy waterways and beaches
  • a liveable, safe and green urban environment
  • an increased understanding of stormwater flood risk
  • increased engagement and appreciation of the impact we have on the environment
  • strategic and targeted investment that will maximise community benefit
  • optimised and coordinated infrastructure and service delivery, reducing costs and inconvenience to the community
  • reduced reliance on town water
  • increased resilience to the effects of climate change
  • the ability to accommodate our growing region.

Where to from here

Feedback from the community was used to inform the final version of the Stormwater Management Strategy which was adopted by council at its August meeting. Implementation of the Strategy will be informed by the detailed actions provided in Part B. This will be subject to council's budget processes. To find out more and view the Strategy visit council's website.


For more information please contact council's Flooding and Stormwater Policy & Planning team on (07) 5475 7272