At Sunwater, we’re focused on minimising our impact on the environment.

Through the implementation of our ISO14001:2015-certified Environmental Management System, we aim to:

  • optimise project management and operational procedures that minimise Sunwater’s ecological footprint and to ensure full compliance with environmental legislation
  • minimise Sunwater’s impacts on native fish populations and prevent the spread of pest fish
  • proactively manage weeds on Sunwater owned and managed property and investigate alternate, more sustainable methods of weed control.

Sunwater’s Environmental Management System Certificate of Registration is found here.

Our Environmental Policy

Our Environmental Policy is a roadmap for the future direction of Sunwater as an environmentally aware organisation. In conjunction with our staff code of conduct and corporate objectives, this policy guides our business operations in the way we meet statutory obligations, our own corporate goals and progress on sustainable practices.

At Sunwater, we are all responsible for the environment which surrounds us and of which we’re a part of. Sunwater believes all employees are responsible for environmental protection. In addition, Sunwater will ensure our operations contribute to a sustainable environment through our three values:

We Value People

  • Providing ongoing environmental awareness training and support for employees
  • Maintaining effective communication with our employees and other stakeholders, such as customers and visitors to our recreation areas, to ensure all environmental management practices are followed.

We Work Together

  • Continuously improving our environmental management by setting measurable goals, monitoring, reporting and reviewing the effectiveness of the management system
  • Actively engaging with natural resource management groups and government agencies to achieve good environmental outcomes by preventing pollution or serious environmental harm.

We Take Responsibility

  • Minimising the potential for adverse impacts from our activities on the environment and requiring our contractors to do the same
  • Seeking to identify other ways of improving our environment performance e.g. through innovation and application of new methods
  • Setting achievable environmental targets and reporting against these
  • Reporting and investigating environmental incidents
  • Fulfilling Sunwater’s environmental compliance obligations.

If you have any questions about Sunwater’s Environmental Policy or would like to report an environmental concern, contact us via the online feedback form or on 13 15 89.

Planned channel shutdowns and the use of Magnacide H and acrolein

Sunwater uses planned channel shutdowns to treat water and remove aquatic weeds which, if becoming overgrown within the channel system, can cause water systems to become choked with weeds and to overflow.

Sunwater uses biocide Magnacide™ H Herbicide—used widely across Australia since the early 1970s—during planned shutdowns as an effective way of promptly treating aquatic weeds.

The herbicide continues to be the preferred option industry-wide due to its effectiveness in treating aquatic weeds and its rapid and complete breakdown.

The below fact sheet includes more information on the herbicide used.

Fact sheet: Magnacide™ H Herbicide and acrolein

Flying fox management

Flying foxes

Sunwater recognises the important role that flying-foxes play in dispersing seeds and pollinating flowering plants within the habitats where our assets are found. Their high mobility makes them highly effective forest pollinators, supporting biodiversity through native plant germination. 

While flying foxes can help to keep forests healthy, they can pose potential safety risks when they come into contact with people e.g. bites and scratches can potentially transfer disease

To help minimise contact between flying foxes and people, management is required to ensure the impact community and environment are carefully considered.  

Flying fox management at Burdekin Falls Dam 

Since May 2021, flying fox numbers at Burdekin Falls Dam have significantly increased over time, with a colony of 250,000 ‘little reds’ and 50,000 black flying foxes currently in roost.  

The movement of the colony into key recreational zones has forced the closure of some areas in the interest of public safety. 

The lookout and selected areas in the camp grounds are currently closed. In addition, the public amenities and picnic area near the Sunwater site office is closed. 

Sunwater has engaged with Ecosure to provide solutions to manage the dispersal of the Burdekin Falls Dam colony through a Flying Fox Management Plan (the Plan). 

The Plan outlines a management framework that considers the associated impacts in line with legislation, community and recommendations by the Department of Environment and Science

Updates on the Burdekin Falls Dam flying fox colony can be found at: bit.ly/RecSafetyAlert.

Useful links