The Queensland Government has allocated $116.4 million to support pre‑construction activities for the Paradise Dam Improvement Project, which is set to begin major construction in late 2023.
In one of the most complex engineering projects in the region’s history, these major dam improvement works will deliver long-term water security for the Bundaberg region by restoring the dam’s capacity and will improve the dam’s resilience against major flooding and extreme weather events.
This rebuild will support around 250 jobs during construction and will, once back to full operation, deliver significant flow-on benefits for local businesses and Bundaberg’s regional economy.
Federal Minister for Water, Tanya Plibersek, said water is one of our country’s most precious resources.
“The Albanese Labor Government knows how important rebuilding the Paradise Dam is to provide water security and drive economic growth in Queensland’s food bowl of Bundaberg,” Ms Plibersek said.
“That’s why we are investing $600 million towards the Paradise Dam Improvement Project.
“I look forward to continuing working in partnership with the Queensland Government to build a secure water future for all Queenslanders.”
Sunwater is progressing procurement, design development and approval activities to prepare for site mobilisation ahead of major construction commencing in late 2024.
Outlet works to replace the dam’s irrigation valves are expected to be completed by August.
Sunwater is also preparing three packages of works for road improvements.
This first package is now underway and will upgrade 10km of Paradise Dam Road, which leads to the dam. Road construction activities will include pavement realignment, bitumen surfacing, widening of vertical crests, drainage enhancements, line marking and signage.
The second package will replace a low-level crossing at Degilbo Creek with a higher-level bridge, improving its resilience to flood events, with the third package upgrading the intersection of the Bruce Highway and Booyal-Dallarnil Road.
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said this is an investment in long-term water security and local jobs for Regional Queensland.
“Rebuilding Paradise Dam will provide future certainty for local growers – as well as ensuring a safe and secure water supply across the region for generations,” Ms Palaszczak said.
“This is one of the largest construction projects in the history of the Bundaberg region and it will ensure water security for the farmers, industry, and the broader community is safeguarded for decades to come.”
Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Cameron Dick, said this complex infrastructure project, delivered in a live operational environment is a major and vital undertaking.
“When completed the Paradise Dam Improvement Project will return the dam to its full 300,000ML capacity and will provide a safe, reliable and secure water supply to local agricultural, industrial and urban communities,” Mr Dick said.
“The strength of this year’s Budget gives us the ability to make the investments necessary to ensure Queensland’s continued prosperity.”
Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, said returning Paradise Dam to its original capacity and getting jobs on the ground for the region, is a priority for the Queensland Government.
“This is why it is an important item in the Big Build, ensuring water security for the region.
“A rebuilt Paradise Dam is a vote of confidence for the farmers and industry in the Bundaberg and Burnett region – and it will undeniably unlock new economic opportunity,” Mr Butcher said.
Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith, said this is a critical step on the path to fixing Paradise Dam and one that will benefit and support our local growers.
“We know that a reliable water supply is a key ingredient for continued growth and prosperity for our region – which is one of the most important food bowls in the country.
“I’m proud that Bundaberg workers will play an important role in delivering this project.”