SMEAC veterans camp moves to next step following lease secured at Ewen Maddock Dam

Published Tuesday, 26 March, 2024 at 12:30 PM

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

SMEAC veterans camp moves to next step following lease secured at Ewen Maddock Dam

  • Veterans support organisation SMEAC secures lease at Ewen Maddock Dam
  • Lease provides long-term certainty and is a key milestone for the veterans camp
  • Builds on a $1.5 million grant from the Australian Government
  • First stages of building refurbishments set to be complete by mid-2024


Veterans support organisation SMEAC has secured a 10-year lease at Ewen Maddock Dam.

Securing a lease with state-owned bulk water provider Seqwater is a key milestone for the project and gives SMEAC the opportunity to deliver on their long-term vision to transform the former Camp Koongamoon site into a veterans camp.

SMEAC has had a long-term vision to refurbish the site on the banks of Ewen Maddock Dam to deliver wellbeing programs and assist veterans to transition from military service under the premise ‘veterans helping veterans’.

The veterans camp is intended to have minimal impact on the natural environment, with existing structures to be restored, site facilities to be maintained within the existing campsite footprint, and new camp amenities to be installed in line with environmental and water quality best practices.

Site works are under way, with SMEAC on track to complete the first stages of the refurbishment by 30 June 2024.

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Matt Keogh:

“The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide has made it clear there is no time to waste in improving services and supports to the veteran community.

“This Grant Program supports larger projects that can be implemented quickly to deliver the services that veterans and families need, in the areas they need it most.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher:

“It’s great to see SMEAC moving forward with their veterans camp at this former recreation camp on the shores of Ewen Maddock Dam.

“Seqwater dams are home to rowing competitions, water skiing, cultural festivals and now a veterans camp.

“I’ve visited this site and met with SMEAC and I’m excited to see the buildings returned to their former glory to help veterans move to the next phase of their lives.

“I acknowledge Tim, Nick and the team for your persistence and vision and I look forward to seeing the site fully up and running. I also acknowledge Jason Hunt for his advocacy – Jason is a fierce voice for his community and I know he’s been on to me and my office about this important proposal.

“We can work with community groups like SMEAC to activate spare facilities because we keep our government-owned corporations in public hands. When the LNP were last in power, they had plans to sell parts off our water businesses.”

Quotes attributable to Caloundra MP, Jason Hunt:

“I’m thrilled to hear SMEAC has gotten its lease sorted with Seqwater, this is an important milestone for their veterans camp at Ewen Maddock Dam.

“SMEAC is a veterans organisation not only saving lives but improving the lives of Queensland veterans and I’m proud to see this project moving ahead.

“I will always go in to bat for veterans in my community and SMEAC’s veterans camp at Ewen Maddock Dam really epitomises what we’re about: helping one another and working together to make our community better.”

Quotes attributable to Seqwater CEO, Neil Brennan:

“Seqwater is pleased to support SMEAC’s mission to improve the lives of veterans through their innovative proposal to restore the camp facilities at the tranquil Ewen Maddock Dam which have been dormant for some years.

“It is a privilege to provide opportunities for South East Queenslanders to connect with the region’s beautiful lakes and natural surrounds – whether through offering on-site recreation facilities or supporting visitor experiences.

“Recreational initiatives near our drinking water dams are always balanced against environmental and water quality considerations, and we thank SMEAC for working with us in developing a low impact camp proposal.”

Quotes attributable to SMEAC Director, Tim Cuming:

“Jason Hunt has been great, he’s constantly gone in to bat for us and I’m grateful for all his lobbying.

“Getting this agreement for lease locked-in is a big milestone and really, the hard work keeps going with all the site works and construction activity.

“This site will reconnect and reintegrate veterans back into society.”

Further Information:

For more information about the veteran’s camp and SMEAC’s services to veterans, visit


Media contact: Lizzy Aboud – 0474 811 004