Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
    The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham

    Dam level reduced ahead of summer

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

    Tuesday, September 24, 2019

    Dam level reduced ahead of summer

    The storage level of Paradise Dam near Bundaberg will be reduced ahead of the 2019/20 wet season, generating up to 80,000 megalitres of free water for irrigators and other users.

    Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said reducing the water level   would allow works to improve the dam’s stability during extreme rain events.

    “The decision to release water has not been made lightly with the ongoing drought and water supply issues in other Queensland communities,” Dr Lynham said.

    “Sunwater is already releasing water from the dam downstream to be stored in the Ned Churchward Weir and Ben Anderson Barrage.

    “Work to lower the spillway can then start after the wet season.

    “Importantly, none of this will affect water supply for irrigators or the town of Bundaberg.

    “The water that’s being released will be free, including for trucking to other areas.

    “In the meantime, Building Queensland will assess and report by February on options to ensure water security for the region for future economic growth and to maintain community safety.

    “The Inspector General of Emergency Management will undertake an independent review into the dam’s preparedness for a future significant flood event.”

    Sunwater Chairman Leith Boully said as part of the dam improvement program investigation, issues were identified that required works to be undertaken immediately.

    “To address these issues, Sunwater will seek tenders by November so work can start on site by May next year to lower the dam spillway by five metres,” she said.

    Sunwater is running community drop-in information sessions and has established a dedicated phone line and email for inquiries about the dam. For more information:

    o   Session 1 8.30am – 11.30am Wednesday 25 September North Progress Hall                18 Queen St, Bundaberg North  

    o   Session 2 5pm – 8pm  Thursday 26 September Bundaberg School of Arts      184 Bourbong Street Bundaberg Central

    o   Session 3  9am – 12pm      Saturday 28 September Bundaberg School of Arts      184 Bourbong Street Bundaberg Central

    KEY STATISTICS

    Paradise Dam has a full supply volume of about 300,000 megalitres of water. It is currently at 75 per cent capacity holding about 215,000 ML. Of that, about 20 per cent is used by irrigators, miners and the town of Bundaberg.

    A total of 105,000 megalitres will be released over 10 weeks to reduce the dam to 42 per cent of capacity. Of that about a quarter will be stored downstream in the Ned Churchward Weir and Ben Anderson Barrage. The remaining amount (about 80,000 megalitres) will be available free over the 10-week release period.

    Sunwater will call tenders by November for construction works to lower the spillway by five metres. These works are expected to take until the end of 2021 and will create about 80 jobs.

    [ENDS]

    Eds: Download footage of Dr Lynham at Paradise Dam today with Ms Boully:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/zflrxueobuh8lql/190924%20PARADISE%20DAM%20OVERLAY.mp4?dl=0

    Drone footage of the dam:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/uptptjsjznf0iai/190924%20PARADISE%20DAM%20DRONE%20OVERLAY.mp4?dl=0

    Media inquiries: Jan Martin 0439 341 314