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The Federal Government has confirmed $483 million in funding will be invested in building the Urannah Dam in Central Queensland (CQ), through the 2022-23 budget.

The 970GL dam and approximately 200km pipeline network could unlock 103GL of water, enabling local producers to develop up to 20,000ha of irrigated agriculture.

It could also provide a secure and affordable water supply for mining, industrial and urban use and create expanded opportunities for businesses and industries.

The project could create up to 1,200 jobs during construction and support 650 ongoing positions.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said the Federal Government is committed to delivering infrastructure that brings more wealth to CQ, to underpin towns like Mackay, Rockhampton and Gladstone.

“Our Government understands that building and growing our nation requires industries that produce wealth, such as the mining, agriculture and farming sectors,” Mr Joyce said.

“It is these industries that earn the export dollars that will help make our country as strong as possible as quickly as possible. That’s why we have put $483 million in the bank to build Urannah Dam.

“Our investment will further drive the development of Central and North Queensland, ensuring businesses, industries and households have the water security they need to grow into the future.

“This will deliver the wealth and new opportunities that will underpin a better standard of living in the regional towns and communities of Central and North Queensland.”

Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, said, “I have fought hard for federal funding for Urannah Dam since 2013 and I’m overjoyed that 50 per cent of the construction costs will be funded by the Coalition Government. 

“The Coalition Government knows just how vital water projects like Urannah Dam are for local industries, their workers and the communities that rely on them.

“This transformative dam will go a long way to providing a viable water source to support 30 active projects and 71 new local projects, cementing the importance of this investment for communities of Central and North Queensland.”

Federal Member for Dawson, George Christensen, said locals had been talking about Urannah Dam for half a century because the project would not only secure a water supply but create new industries and jobs.

“This comes after a long fight by myself, my colleagues and some incredibly focused, hard-working locals,” Mr Christensen said.

“I’ve been fighting long and hard for this project basically since I was first elected so, now that I’m ending my time representing Dawson, it is especially pleasing to see such a strong commitment to building Urannah.”

The announcement builds on the suite of dams and water infrastructure projects across Queensland, including:

  • $600 million towards the restoration of Paradise Dam
  • $183.6 million towards the Rookwood Weir
  • $180 million towards the Hughenden Irrigation Scheme
  • $30 million towards the Big Rocks Weir.

The Federal Government has so far committed $22.65 million toward the development of the Urannah Dam project. 

A business case is underway and is expected to be completed late 2022.

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