$600m funding for QLD Paradise Dam Improvement Project confirmed

Monica Gameng   |   November 3, 2022
Paradise Dam Improvement Project (cr: Sunwater)

The Australian Government has confirmed a $600 million funding commitment through the 2022-23 Federal Budget for the Paradise Dam rebuild in Queensland. 

This funding allocation will get the gear going on major construction on this $1.2 billion project. 

“Federal Labor promised this $600 million before the election in May and I’m proud to be part of a Government delivering for Queensland communities. 

“Bundaberg is one of the nation’s most important food bowls and we know a rebuilt Paradise Dam will provide local growers with certainty into the future,” Federal Water Minister Tanya Plibersek said. 

Paradise Dam was originally built in 2005. It faced unanticipated damage when flood events occurred in 2011 and 2013, and an Independent Commission of Inquiry report from 2020 confirmed the dam to have structural and stability issues. Due to these issues, the dam was ultimately lowered. 

The Paradise Dam Improvement Project will return the dam to its original height of 67.6 metres to provide water security as well as improve safety for the dam. 

The project will include: 

  • Buttressing with mass concrete across the primary and secondary dam spillways and left abutment wall 
  • New training walls 
  • Extending the existing downstream apron 
  • Raising and replacing sections of the secondary spillway 

“This massive $1.2 billion Paradise Dam Improvement Project will restore the dam to its full 300GL capacity and will provide a safe, reliable and secure water supply to local agricultural, industrial and urban communities. 

“This is a vote of confidence for the farmers and the thriving agricultural sector in the Bundaberg and Burnett region. 

“But more than that, this project will now continue, full steam ahead, giving more than 250 people good, solid jobs during the construction phase and offering long-term economic benefits to the community,” QLD Minister for Water Glenn Butcher said. 

To date, four contracts have been awarded for works to rebuild Paradise Dam. In July, Harrison Infrastructure Group (HIG) was awarded a contract for extensive investigation works on the road network that leads up to Paradise Dam. And in August of this year, three contracts were awarded for design, geotechnical and environmental services. 

“This is one of the largest construction projects in the history of this region and it will ensure water security for the farmers, industry, and the broader community is safeguarded for decades to come. 

“This project is already supporting dozens of good, local jobs,” Minister Butcher said. 

Sunwater is currently completing engineering design and detailed work – supported by geotechnical works – on the Paradise Dam Improvement Project. 

Early works on the project commenced this financial year. It includes planning, design as well as upgrades to existing roads, investigations into suitable aggregate and other construction materials. Planning for the mobilisation and establishment at the project site is also underway. 

Enabling works on the project are anticipated to begin in 2023, including upgrades to local roads. Major construction on the Paradise Dam Improvement Project is scheduled to commence in 2024. 

The Paradise Dam Improvement Project is jointly funded by the Queensland and Australian Governments – through the National Water Grid Fund – with each contributing $600 million. 

Source: Queensland Government – Media Statements; Sunwater; ABC News 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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