Stay safe around North Queensland waterways these holidays

11 Dec 2014

SunWater is urging visitors to North 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 North Region Bulk Water Service Manager, Jim Mummery, said the warning followed reports of people taking alarming risks around local infrastructure.

"We have recently seen people cutting through the barb wire fence at the inlet to Kinchant Dam to go fishing, which is dangerous and illegal," Mr Mummery 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."

Service Delivery Manager Colin Bendall said swimming in irrigation channels was also strictly prohibited.

"Irrigation channels are not safe for swimming due to safety hazards including submerged pipe inlets, siphons, hidden currents and steep slopes," Mr Bendall said.

"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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