The EIS Process

Burdekin Falls Dam Raising

Burdekin Falls Dam, North Queensland

The Burdekin Falls Dam Raising Project is a proposal to raise the existing dam as a potential means to augment and increase water supply in the Burdekin and surrounding regions.

The EIS Process

The Environmental Impact Statement Process

As part of the Burdekin Falls Dam Raising project, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) must be undertaken to assess:

  • the current environment around the project
  • potential environmental, economic and social impacts and benefits of the project
  • the proposals being put forward to avoid, minimise, mitigate and/or offset potential impacts.

The detailed business case for the raising of Burdekin Falls Dam wall heavily relies on data from the EIS. The EIS will also provide the basis for statutory approvals required for the project should it proceed to construction.

Declaration of a coordinated project and EIS terms of reference

Queensland’s Coordinator-General has declared the Burdekin Falls Dam Raising Project a ‘coordinated project’ under Part 4 of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (SDPWO Act).

In April 2021, The Coordinator-General issued the final EIS terms of reference (TOR) to Sunwater who will now prepare a draft EIS addressing the TOR requirements. For more information visit the Coordinator General’s website.

Declaration of ‘controlled action’

To conserve and protect Matters of National Environmental Significance, an action that will have, or is likely to have a significant impact on those values must be referred for assessment to the Australian Government Minister for the Environment. 

Sunwater’s referral notice and supporting documents under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) are available on the Australian Government’s website. The referral includes information about Sunwater, the proposed dam raising and an overview of potential impacts.

The Burdekin Falls Dam Raising Project has been declared a ‘controlled action’ meaning it will require approval under the EPBC Act. This will be assessed under bilateral agreement with the Queensland Government through the environmental impact statement process.

For more information about the referrals under the EPBC Act, visit the Australian Government website or contact the Referrals Gateway team on (02) 6274 2496 or email

Public notifications and consultation will occur during the EIS process. Updates will be provided when these opportunities are available. Further information on the process is available in the EIS fact sheet (updated April 2021).