A project to restore Paradise Dam near Bundaberg in Australia is forging ahead, with enabling works to begin shortly, including work on the dam’s outlet valves.
Queensland Water Minister Glenn Butcher said the works are critical for the dam to be safely operated during the Paradise Dam Improvement Project, and are expected to start in April 2023, weather permitting.
Bundaberg MP Tom Smith said the project would support more than 250 jobs during construction and deliver long-term economic benefits to Queensland.
“It is great to see progress on this critical project that will return the dam to its full 300 gigalitre capacity as part of safety improvement works,” said Water Minister Butcher. “A rebuilt Paradise Dam will provide future certainty for local growers - as well as ensuring a safe and secure water supply across the region for generations.”
The Paradise Dam Improvement project is jointly funded by the Australian Government through the National Water Grid Fund ($600 million) and the Queensland Government ($600 million).
Originally built in 2005, Paradise Dam experienced unanticipated damage during the 2011 and 2013 floods and an Independent Commission of Inquiry report from 2020 confirmed structural and stability issues. The dam wall was lowered due to these structural concerns.
The new rebuild project will return the dam to its original height of 67.6m, as part of significant safety improvement works, and allow an expansion of irrigated agriculture in the region and more security for town water supply.
Back in August last year, three contracts were awarded for design, geotechnical and environmental services. Engineering specialist GHD was appointed to prepare the reference design for the project, Jacobs will undertake geotechnical investigations and assess availability of any suitable basalt material that could be used as aggregate for the dam, and specialist consultants, Epic Environmental, will undertake an environmental impact assessment and prepare applications for the necessary environment and planning approvals for the project.