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Rebuilding and Repairing

Port Macquarie flood outreach centre

Rebuilding and repairing buildings damaged by flood and storms

This information has been developed to assist people who have been affected by flood and/or storm events.

 First Steps

  • Only return to your home when you are advised by the appropriate authority that it is safe to return.
  • Ensure electricity is turned off before entering the property.
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the damage.
  • Take pictures and prepare your documents to lodge your claim.
  • Ask your insurance company if they have a list of preferred contractors for the clean-up and repairs.
  • If you are uninsured, contact a licensed building contractor to assess the damage and provide a quote for the necessary repairs.
  • Uninsured residents and those who have limited income/assets may be eligible for a disaster relief grant
  • Should you require one, Council is able to provide you with a letter confirming that your property was affected by the recent flood and storms to assist you with dealing with various authorities and agencies.

Are approvals required?

  • If a structure on your property has been damaged or destroyed by flood or storms, Council can facilitate the issue of an expedited Emergency Order for Demolition. Alternatively, property owners may prefer to combine a DA for demolition and rebuild. Please contact Council for more information.
  • If damage to a lawful building is minor or non-structural, it is considered to be maintenance and/or repairs. Council approval is not required provided it’s a like for like replacement. This may include re-sheeting, re-cladding, floor lining, and carpeting.
  • A licensed plumber is required to do repairs to damaged septic tanks, or onsite sewage management systems and associated pipework. A certificate of compliance (NSW Fair Trading format) for all replaced plumbing and drainage works should be obtained from the contractor and forwarded to Council.
  • Rebuilding and repairing of non-habitable outbuildings will not need Council approval in the majority of instances. Please contact Council for advice.
  • The replacement/rebuilding of a dwelling or part of a dwelling is structural and therefore it will require development consent (ie a DA), a construction certificate (and other related approvals). This must be obtained beforehand to ensure the new work complies with current requirements.
  • Council will fast track your application and provide you with a dedicated Building Surveyor to process your applications.
  • Copies of previously issued approvals and plans will be available to landowners free of charge. Contact our Customer Service Centre on 02 6581 8111 and ask to be transferred to the Development Assessment Records Administration Officer.
  • If no approval exists for a flood/storm damaged dwelling, it may still be considered a lawful dwelling. Approvals to re-build dwellings may still be available/may still be possible through various formalisation processes. Council assessment staff will endeavour to investigate all available avenues to allow such replacement dwellings to be legally approved if possible. Please contact Council for advice.

Exempt structures

  • Details on structures and building work that can be erected without Council approval are available from the ‘Exempt development’ page on our website at: Exempt development 

Supporting documentation and fees

  • Council has waived fees and charges associated with building and construction for flood and storm impacted property owners. (Refer Extraordinary Council Meeting Minutes 24.03.2021)
  • Payment of some State legislated fees will still be required, including Planning Reform Fund, Long Service Levy and fees for a BASIX certificate.

When submitting an application to rebuild you will need supporting information including:

Plans and specifications (it’s OK to include specifications on the plans)

BASIX certificate (available at: https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/basix )

A statement or appropriate document confirming the date of construction of the dwelling, if it is an older building that was originally constructed prior to the introduction of building controls.

Visit Council’s website for information regarding the application process for development and related applications: Make an application

If you intend to rebuild on an allotment that is affected by the Port Macquarie-Hastings LEP, please contact Council for advice on options for retaining any existing dwelling eligibility that the allotment may have.

Contact Council’s free Duty Planner or Building Surveyor service if you require additional assistance. Monday - Thursday 8.30am to 1.00pm (Phone 02 6581 8111)

For more information visit contact Council on 02 6581 8111.

To download this information as a Fact Sheet click  here471KB pdf(PDF, 471KB).


This information is provided in good faith as a guide. The relevant legislation and the planning documents take precedent over the information in this fact sheet. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the damage.


This page was last updated on: 28 April 2021