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    Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
    The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham

    Palaszczuk Government backs next steps for Hells Gate

    Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
    The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham

    Wednesday, July 31, 2019

    Palaszczuk Government backs next steps for Hells Gate

    The Palaszczuk Government will give the green light for further assessment of the $5 billion Hells Gates Dam proposal.

    Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham today announced that the State would sign a bilateral agreement with the Commonwealth to progress further assessment.

    “I know our three local Members of Parliament in Townsville and the people of North Queensland want to see this project progress,” he said.

    “We’ve listened and we will work with the Commonwealth to continue the investigation of the Hells Gates proposal.

    “However the Palaszczuk Government’s  bottom line remains that any major investment like this needs to deliver value for money for Queensland taxpayers.

    “And this includes conducting geotechnical assessments to determine the infrastructure and construction costs.

    “The best way to establish that is for a detailed assessment that establishes all the costs and benefits.”

    Townsville Enterprise Limited conducted an initial assessment of the Hells Gates Dam last year for the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund. TEL will lead the new assessment.

    “As with any project, the Palaszczuk Government will always ensure that Queensland taxpayers are delivered value for money and the appropriate planning, cost benefit and due diligence is undertaken,” Dr Lynham said.

    BACKGROUND

    The Hells Gates Dam proposal is to dam the Upper Burdekin north of Charters Towers. Hells Gates is proposed to provide long term water security for Townsville and supply water to a 50,000 hectare irrigated agriculture scheme.

    The proposal includes the Big Rocks Weir for long term water security for Charters Towers Regional Council.

    The total project proposal is estimated to cost $5.35 billion, and it comprises:

    • a 2110 GL dam
    • pumped hydroelectric scheme of up to 1200 MW
    • 20 MW solar farm and 15 MW run-of-river hydro facility at the toe of the dam
    • a pipeline from Hells Gates Dam to Ross River Dam.

    [ENDS]

    Media inquiries: Jan Martin 0439 341 314