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The delivery of the new wall for the Paradise Dam is underway, with enabling works including geotechnical investigations and road upgrades going ahead. 

Led by a team of engineers, geologists and geophysicists, the geotechnical work involves rigorous drilling to test the strength of the rock below the surface where the new wall will be constructed.

This work will confirm the foundation conditions for the new structure while also providing Sunwater important insights to develop costs and materials required to deliver the project.

More than 50 boreholes are being drilled to extract core samples at depths ranging from 20m to 100m each.

The current enabling works, including the geotechnical activity, road upgrades, concrete mix designs and environmental approvals, are supporting 120 jobs. This number is expected to rise to approximately 350 jobs as planning and design works ramp up in 2025.

Quarry investigations and other enabling works are expected to commence later in 2024.

Sunwater is also undertaking a detailed business case to expand the Bundaberg Water Supply Scheme irrigation network and address capacity constraints in accessing dam supply. This was a recommendation from the Bundaberg Burnett Regional Water Assessment.

Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, said that these enabling works are an essential step toward building the new Paradise Dam wall to deliver long-term water security, certainty and safety for the Bundaberg region.

“The Queensland Government is committed to delivering this project as quickly as possible, so it’s pleasing to see the enabling works progressing,” Mr Butcher said. 

“While a new dam wall will ensure the people and industries of the Bundaberg region have a reliable water supply for at least the next 100 years, this project is already supporting the local workforce, and we can expect many more jobs to be created as we progress with major construction.” 

Sunwater CEO, Glenn Stockton, said that this geotechnical work will provide Sunwater with the data it needs to design and build a dam that meets the safety and water security objectives for the Bundaberg region for future generations.

“Understanding what’s going on below the surface allows us to consider and address any challenges during design, to prevent potential construction delays or unexpected costs,” Mr Stockton said. 

“Importantly, we are building on previous investigations to ensure the right asset is built.”

Featured image: Paradise Dam. Image credit: Sunwater.

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