Fairbairn Dam upgrade enhances safety

A five-year project to strengthen one of Central Queensland’s biggest dams has been completed.

The $170 million upgrade at Emerald’s 48-year-old Fairbairn Dam will ensure it can better withstand large flood events.

“I am delighted to confirm the critical Fairbairn Dam Improvement Project, which began in 2016, has been finished ahead of schedule,” Sunwater Chief Executive Officer Glenn Stockton said.

“Importantly, the dam will continue to function safely and efficiently ahead of this wet season.”

The project created more than 100 jobs and numerous business opportunities for suppliers.

More than 80 per cent of contractors and employees were from Central Queensland.

Mr Stockton said the project addressed the condition of the dam’s original spillway drainage system and ground anchors that were not functioning effectively.

It involved the installation of 1150 passive anchors, 1.2 kilometres of new drainage and placement of 25,000 cubic metres of concrete.

Additionally, the project achieved a significant workplace health and safety milestone recording over 450,000 hours without a lost-time-injury.

Mr Stockton said the Fairbairn Dam upgrade was essential to ensure the safety of the Central Queensland community.

He thanked the Emerald community, Sunwater customers, Central Highland Regional Council and the Local Disaster Management Group for their support and patience throughout the project.

Sunwater will continue to monitor the performance of Fairbairn Dam with regular safety reviews and risk assessments.