Stay safe around Wide Bay-Burnett waterways these holidays

11 Dec 2014

SunWater is urging visitors to Wide Bay-Burnett 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 the warning followed reports of people taking alarming risks around local infrastructure.

"We have recently seen people fishing near the outlet structure at Bucca Weir with a baby’s portable cot balancing on the edge, at risk of being swept downstream," Mr Pukallus said.

"At Wuruma Dam, we’ve seen people camping outside of designated areas and leaving rubbish behind.

"We ask everyone to please check the recreational facilities on our website to plan your visit ahead of time, and ensure you take everything with you when you leave.

"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.

"We’ve also had recent reports of risky driving in Bundaberg’s channel access roads, which is not only illegal but also extremely dangerous.

"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, visit or call 13 15 89.


Media Enquiries

SunWater Media Team
Phone: +61 7 3120 0047

Subscribe so you can receive SunWater's Latest News sent directly to your email address.