Proposed $2.9bn Urannah Dam in QLD expected to create 1,200 jobs

Monica Gameng   |   May 8, 2020

The proposed $2.9 billion Urannah Dam project has been declared a coordinated project by Queensland’s Coordinator-General. This means that the massive development will now undergo an impact assessment process to determine significant environmental, social, cultural as well as economic impacts the project might impose on the region. 

The proposed Urannah Dam will not only provide water security for agriculture, industry and mines, it also has the potential to create up to 1,200 jobs during its construction and about 675 full-time operational jobs. 

“Jobs and water security are two of the most important things for Queensland right now. 

“Progressing projects like this will help secure our state’s future. 

“If we’re backing industry and helping facilitate big projects, we’re putting more Queenslanders into jobs,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. 

The multi-billion-dollar project will include building a new dam on the Broken River that will have a capacity of 1.5 million megalitres, a water pipeline network to Moranbah and Proserpineand an irrigated precinct for high-value agriculture. 

The Urannah Dam project will also comprise of a pumped hydro-electricity power scheme north west of Mackay, in the upper Broken River Valley. 

Bowen River Utilities, the project developer, will now commence preparing a comprehensive environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Urannah Dam project. 

“This project potentially means water security and jobs for our part of Queensland. 

“The ongoing rigorous assessment will include extensive community consultation, so locals can help shape the requirements of the EIS,” Member for Mackay and Assistant Minister for State Development Julieanne Gilbert said. 

Urannah Dam and the hydro-electric scheme are going to be built in the Bowen Basin, approximately 50 kilometres from Collinsville. 

“With Queensland facing some tough times ahead, this project is a glimmer of hope for the Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac regions which will deliver broad ranging economic benefits. 

“It doesn’t just deliver water security, but invests in agriculture and energy to drive economic benefits in the regions at a time when they need it the most,” Bowen River Utilities Managing Director John Cotter said. 

In addition to the proposed Urannah Dam project, the State Government will continue looking into proposals for new water infrastructure for northern and central Queensland. 

Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said: “If there’s a big job-creating project proposed for Queensland that has merit, we’ll look at it.” 

“These assessments are extremely thorough, and through the independent Office of the Coordinator-General we look to identify the most optimal projects [for] our regions.” 

According to Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham, the Queensland Government has a strong record in investments for water infrastructure. 

Dr Lynham said: “We gave the green light for the next stage of assessment for Urannah Dam in December 2019, and since 2017 we’ve invested $848 million in water infrastructure for Queensland, creating more than 1,600 regional jobs.” 

Other water infrastructure that the State Government invested in include: 

  • Rookwood Weir 
  • Haughton Pipeline Duplication Project (Stage 1) in Townsville, with a deal sealed for the next stage of assessment for the proposed Hells Gates Dam 
  • Modernisation of an open channel irrigation scheme on the Tablelands 
  • The new Emu Swamp Dam 

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Source: Queensland Government; Bowen River UtilitiesUrannah; Queensland Country Life 

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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