Paradise Dam – Returning to original height
19 January 2022
On Christmas Eve last year, the Hon Glenn Butcher, Queensland Minister for Water, attended Paradise Dam to announce that the dam will be returned to its original height. This decision follows detailed technical investigations, which show it is possible to safely re-raise, strengthen and stabilise the dam wall.
Paradise Dam Improvement Project works will include:
- buttressing with mass concrete across the primary and secondary dam spillways and left abutment wall
- new training walls
- extending the existing downstream apron
- raising and replacing sections of the secondary spillway.
The project will ensure that Paradise Dam meets the stringent safety criteria that apply to all dams in Australia.
The next stage of the project includes progressing design, environmental and planning approvals, early contractor engagement, and procurement activities necessary before construction can commence.
The Queensland and Australian governments are working together on a funding agreement. If an agreement is secured in early-2022, early works are expected to commence in 2023, including local road upgrades, material sourcing and investigations, and planning for a workers accommodation camp. Major works at the dam are expected to commence in 2024.
Demand and hydrology studies have shown that reinstating the dam wall to its original height will provide sufficient capacity to meet the region’s water needs for decades to come, even with the potential impacts of climate change on both water demand and yield.
As requested by industry representatives, the Queensland Government also completed an Economic impact assessment (EIA) to inform the broader economic benefits of restoring Paradise Dam.
Sunwater will develop a separate business case to further investigate capacity constraints within the Bundaberg Water Supply Scheme’s existing distribution network to support the region’s diversification and expansion into high value perennial tree crops.
Sunwater will continue to engage with customers to develop plans to alleviate network constraints so that water distribution can keep pace with demand.
Citrus Australia would like to congratulate growers who have advocated for this matter in recent years, who have donated, spoken to media, completed research and consultative surveys. Your resilience has made a difference.
Citrus Australia and the SQRAC continue to be a member of the Paradise Dam Industry Forum.