Stay safe around Central Queensland waterways these holidays

11 Dec 2014

SunWater is urging visitors to Central Queensland dams and weirs to stay safe these school holidays, following recent reports of people taking risks around local waterways.

Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle said Queensland’s strong 30 year plan for the water sector – WaterQ – recognised the need to balance the responsible management of our water resources with the opportunities for tourism and recreation.

"Summer has officially begun and thousands of visitors are expected to flock to our beautiful dams, lakes and parks. While everyone should enjoy themselves, safety must be a priority," Mr McArdle said.

SunWater’s Central Region Bulk Water Service Manager, Milton Pukallus, said all visitors should heed safety signage and remain in designated recreational areas, well away from dam and weir walls.

"Holiday makers should be aware that while things may appear calm on the surface, there can be submerged hazards such as stumps and rocks which can cause serious injury," Mr Pukallus said.

Service Delivery Manager Colin Bendall said SunWater had received reports of people taking alarming risks around local water infrastructure.

"We have seen people riding motorbikes in and around Emerald’s LN1 drainage system, which is not only illegal, but also extremely dangerous behaviour," Mr Bendall said.

"Swimming in irrigation channels is also strictly prohibited due to other safety hazards including submerged pipe inlets, siphons, hidden currents and steep slopes.

"It only takes common sense to read the signs and avoid tragedy these school holidays."

SunWater’s dam safety tips:

  • Observe all signs – they contain important information about the water, potential hazards and Blue-Green Algae (BGA) levels
  • Do not boat, swim or ski while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Remain a safe distance from dam and weir walls and outlet structures and stay in designated recreational areas
  • Be cautious of hidden dangers, such as submerged stumps, rocks and weeds
  • Boaties should stay clear of swimmers and skiers and not enter restricted buoyed areas.

For more information on dam facilities and conditions:


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