Paradise Dam – safety is the number one priority

Paradise Dam is not being “demolished”.

In September 2019, the urgent need to improve the stability of the dam was announced. This requires the dam wall to be lowered by 5 metres as a short-term, interim measure to improve the safety of the community living below the dam.

A legislative amendment passed this week allows for this work to start before the 2020/21 wet season. It also ensures the timeframes announced in September last year can be met.

This short-term work is only the first step in rectifying the issues with the dam. The long-term future of the dam will be determined by a Building Queensland report, which is currently underway. This was also announced in September last year.

Sunwater has been engaging with customers and the community since the announcement about the importance of lowering the Paradise Dam wall.

We reached this conclusion after extensive studies conducted over a number of years following the 2013 flood event and as part of our ongoing dam management program.

Our assessment has been supported by 13 national and international technical experts.

We cannot ignore the clear evidence. We must act.

Sunwater recognises the impact the decision to lower the dam wall has had on the community and their interest in long-term water security.

The decision was not taken lightly but had to be made in the interests of safety.

Sunwater is aware stakeholders are undertaking their own research into Paradise Dam and in fact facilitated a tour of the dam by the expert last week. Stakeholders have submitted a request for further information and Sunwater is reviewing that request in line with ‘Right to Information’ legislation.

Sunwater continues to provide water for customers.

In addition to Paradise Dam, the Bundaberg Water Supply Scheme is supplied by Fred Haigh Dam, Ned Churchward Weir, Bucca Weir, Ben Anderson Barrage and Kolan Barrage.

There is enough water in Paradise Dam and other storages within the scheme to meet 2019-20 water allocations.

High priority water customers will have all of their allocation in 2020-21.

Sunwater is working with customers and the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy to investigate options to maximise allocations for medium priority customers across the region. 

Announced allocations for the next water year will be confirmed in July.

Sunwater continues to engage with local councils, the community and other stakeholders to clearly and effectively communicate the issues related to Paradise Dam.

We will commence work to lower the dam wall by 5 meters as an interim risk reduction as soon as practical, in line with our obligations.

Media enquiries:
Sunwater Media Team
Phone: 07 3120 0047
Email: media@sunwater.com.au