Stormwater and drainage Stormwater and drainage

Stormwater runoff and drainage

As a result of Cooktown's climate and topography, flooding and nuisance issues from storm water runoff is a common problem for many Cooktown residents resulting in damage to property and distress to residents.

Complaints and civil issues

Cook Shire Council does not have jurisdiction in all circumstances to investigate complaints about storm water runoff. Council's jurisdiction generally relates to nuisances and flooding as a result of illegal or incorrectly constructed building and structures.

Water flow problems caused by the natural lie of the land, or from overland flow, are a civil matter.  Council recommends you take the time to talk to you neighbours about any flooding problems you may be experiencing. In many cases, a resolution can be reached to satisfy everyone's needs.

Other Civil matters, where Council has no jurisdiction, include:

  • water flow problems caused by natural ground seepage on private property
  • diverting or blocking the natural flow of water from landscaping, fences and walls or a small trench except where the water collects and becomes stagnant

There is no power under any Act for Councils to require a landowner to carry out new building work or alter building work in relation to an existing building.
Therefore, where the problem is failure to provide proper installations such as gutters and downpipes on existing buildings and structures, Council simply has no regulatory or enforcement power to require a landowner to provide such installations. Owners should pursue civil remedies through the Magistrate's Court.

For more information contact Council's Development, Environment and Community team on 07 4069 5444 or email