Aboriginal lands flood recovery program

This program is to support flood-impacted Aboriginal communities to assess and manage the clean-up of waste generated by the 2022 floods on Aboriginal lands. The program will focus on clean-up, waste removal and installation of illegal dumping deterrence measures that are not eligible for other government funding sources.

The program is part of the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

The program will be administered by:

  • collaboration – engaging with Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) and Aboriginal Community Owned Land Managers impacted by floods to scope impacts on their lands and to refine the program
  • scoping – conducting site inspections and scoping to develop projects
  • governance – an agreed scope of works will be established for activities. Before work starts the agreement will need to be signed by the Local Aboriginal Land Council representative with signatory authority.
  • works – engaging local Aboriginal contractors and increase employment where possible in flood affected areas.


The program aims to avoid legacy issues that can result from flood impacts and to remove environmental and safety risks. The objectives of the program are to:

  • undertake clean-up and restoration works caused by the flood events
  • scope and quantify waste impacts with affected LALC and Aboriginal community land managers
  • provide support and expertise to assist affected LALCs and Aboriginal community land managers recover public land from waste impacts
  • support Aboriginal employment in flood affected regions.


The program will be offered to all LALCs and Aboriginal Community Land Managers who have public land in Local Government Areas (LGAs) that have been declared natural disaster zones in the 2022 floods. Disaster declarations are issued by the NSW Government and incorporate an Australian Government reference number (AGRN). For the 2022 floods these numbers are AGRN 1012, 1025, 1030 and 1034.

Funding is only able to be provided where the works are within the ARGN declared LGA areas. Works with an address outside the LGA boundaries will not be eligible for funding.

Program scope

Within Program Scope

Outside of the Program Scope

Clean-up of waste at flood-affected sites including outside of cultural centres, cultural sites, sheds, fences, office buildings and signage

Waste generated outside of the 2022 flood events

Demolition of buildings considered only after planning approval

Waste inside of buildings or renovation of infrastructure

Removal of flood waste and remediation of flood impacted contaminated lands

Waste generated outside of the 2022 flood events

Removal of asbestos in existing structures

Removal of hazardous trees or green waste restricting access to sites

Waste generated outside of the 2022 flood events

Tree or vegetation removal where there is no flood-related hazard from the tree or plant


Clean-up and repair of flood-impacted access trails to Aboriginal lands

Access trails not impacted by the 2022 flood events

Clean-up of illegally dumped flood and legacy waste in flood impacted locations

Waste generated in a LALC area not impacted by the 2022 flood events

Installation of illegal dumping deterrence measures to restrict access to aboriginal lands (fences, bollards, physical rock barriers or signage)

Installation of deterrence measures in LALC areas not impacted by the 2022 flood events

Assessment and documentation of flood-generated waste

Flood-generated waste that is addressed under other NSW Government Programs

Collection and processing of eligible waste generated during the 2022 floods, in accordance with applicable standards and protocols

Waste generated outside of the 2022 flood events

Ensuring processed materials are preferentially made available for beneficial reuse in the LALCs / regions in which they were generated

Flood-generated waste that is located on public land, except where this land is managed by a council (as defined under the NSW Local Government Act 1993) and where it meets the specification of waste types to be addressed by this program

Management, auditing and evaluation of the Aboriginal Lands Flood Recovery Program

Management, auditing and evaluation of other NSW Government programs

Public land that is located within an AGRN (emergency declared) area

Private and individual owned land

Exclusions to scope must be consistent with Flood and storm guidelines 2022

How to be involved

If you would like to be involved, please email RecoveryandResiliencePrograms@epa.nsw.gov.au by 30 May 2023.

How is the program delivered?



Timing / frequency

LALC CEOs and Community representatives


LALC CEOs will be the pivotal contact for program scoping, works, providing assurance of LALC land ownership and pathways for community engagement



Early 2023

The first phase of the program will involve identifying need and potential projects through direct consultation with LALCs and Aboriginal Community Land Managers.

Each project will then be assessed and will be prioritised based on risk and location.

Funded projects will be tailored by site inspections with the LALC CEO / Aboriginal Community Land Manager to determine scope and inform a specific deed of works that meet the needs of the area. 

On ground works will be delivered through NSW Public Works, using local contractors and Aboriginal employment where possible.

Assessing program works

The scope of works for each application will be reviewed by the EPA and NSW Public Works. They will assess each program of works and will recommend prioritisation of the works to be undertaken. No applicant can be guaranteed funding to complete the works.

Unsuccessful applicants will be advised in writing and given the opportunity to seek feedback by contacting the EPA. Decisions by the EPA are final. There is no appeal process.

Any concerns about the program or individual applications should be submitted in writing to RecoveryandResiliencePrograms@epa.nsw.gov.au. If you do not agree with the way the EPA has handled the issue, you may wish to contact the Deputy Ombudsman (Aboriginal Programs) via Ombudsman NSW.