Planning to commence on new Paradise Dam wall

Published Thursday, 11 January, 2024 at 11:10 AM

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water
The Honourable Glenn Butcher

Sunwater will begin planning to build an entirely new wall at Paradise Dam following expert recommendations that the existing wall cannot be repaired or reinforced.

While the existing dam is safer now at the current lower supply level, thanks to the Essential Works project undertaken by Sunwater, it is clear that the existing dam wall has too many issues to be repaired.

Sunwater’s recommendation to Government is that the dam wall should be wholly replaced. In the meantime, the dam will remain at the current lower supply level.

The Government remains committed to restoring the full water supply.

Importantly, a new dam wall will meet stringent safety criteria and will ensure the Bundaberg region receives a lifelong asset that will reliably serve the community for at least 100 years, underpinning jobs and growth for the region for generations.

A business case for the new dam wall has now commenced and new environmental approvals will be sought. Timelines and costings will be confirmed following completion of the business case and approvals.

Sunwater has formed an alliance to deliver the new dam wall project – appointing CPB Contractors / Georgiou as construction partner and GHD as the ongoing design partner.

This will ensure design and construction challenges are considered and addressed early, and options to reduce costs are identified through efficiencies and prudent planning.

The Government has also asked Sunwater to undertake a detailed business case to expand the irrigation network to allow future expansion of the Bundaberg Water Supply Scheme and address capacity constraints in accessing dam supply. This was a key recommendation out of the draft Bundaberg Burnett Regional Water Assessment.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher:

“This is a significant milestone in our efforts to restore Paradise Dam to its original capacity. It is a win for the Bundaberg region and will be a major benefit for agricultural producers. A new wall will ensure the dam is a lifelong asset and will deliver for an even longer term than promised by the repair.

“The Queensland Government will always listen to the experts and the expert advice tells us we cannot repair the existing dam wall.

“Reliable water supply is critical to jobs, growth and liveability in regional Queensland. That is why we remain committed to restoring the full water supply for the people and industries of the region.

“We are not going to lose a minute, with Sunwater appointing its construction partner and early works at the site continuing full steam ahead to ensure the new dam wall can proceed as quickly as possible, once all approvals have been obtained.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bundaberg, Tom Smith:

"The Miles Government is drawing a line in the sand. Making sure that we deliver on our commitment to restore the water supply in full, while eliminating any doubt for safety and water security of Bundaberg.

“My commitment has always been to restore the water supply and to keep people safe. Today, I join Minister Butcher in keeping that commitment to the whole of the region.

“The evidence is clear, but so is the way forward. A new wall across the Burnett River will deliver a new strength for the agricultural and horticultural productivity of this region."

Quotes attributable to Sunwater CEO, Glenn Stockton:

“Paradise Dam’s safety was ensured following the lowering of its wall, ensuring safe operation for many years to come.

“However, the concrete quality of the dam means it cannot be repaired to last the many decades we expect from these assets.

No one is more committed to providing water security for the Bundaberg region than Sunwater.”

Further Information:

For more information visit the Sunwater website.


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