The A$1.7B (US$1.3B) Traveston Crossing dam on the Mary river near Gympie, 160km north of Brisbane, is a key water management project for the state and the 71m high dam is due for completion in 2011.

The staged construction of the project has cut the initial inundation area by more than half, saving hundreds of homes as well as key infrastructure such as railways and roads from relocation.

The second stage of the project will involve the A$250M (US$195M) raising of the Borumba dam by 2025 while the third stage would involve the completion of Traveston in 2035.

Acting state premier Anna Bligh said: ‘The government is working cooperatively with landowners in the Traveston area to make the purchase of land needed for the new dam run as smoothly as possible,’ adding that agreements have been reached with 184 property owners in the Traveston Crossing dam area or about 22% of the properties required.