Paradise Dam officially on the up

A Queensland dam’s wall will be returned to its original height following the allocation of $600 million in federal funding that matches the state’s input, to support water supply in one of the nation’s important food bowls.

Paradise Dam, 80 km south-west of Bundaberg, is the site of the $1.2 billion project which will be one of the largest construction projects ever undertaken in the region.

Unexpected flood damage in 2013 in a one-in-200-year-event saw Sunwater lower the spillway by 5.8 metres to improve its stability and the safety of communities downstream. Essential works carried out in 2020 have taken the pressure off the dam wall but are a short-term risk measure ahead of longer-term dam remediation. With completion of work on the dam spillway, the risk of dam failure has dropped to a one-in-5000-year-event.

The Queensland Government decided in December last year to return Paradise Dam to its original height of 67.6 metres high. Once complete, the dam will be restored to its full 300GL capacity the Queensland Government stated.

More than 250 people will be employed during the construction phase. Early works are commencing this financial year which including planning, design and upgrades of existing roads. Investigations into suitable aggregate and other construction materials are also expected to commence along with mobilisation and establishment of the construction site.

Contracts were awarded in August to Concrete Institute Silver Member, GHD, as well as Jacobs, and Epic Environmental. Enabling works for the dam wall construction are expected to start in 2023 with major works set to commence in 2024, according to the federal and state ministers for water.

Image: Paradise Dam. Source: Sunwater.

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is the Editor of Concrete in Australia and at the helm of our magazine for 8 years. She was behind the Institute's weekly news bulletins from 2016-2021 and is now writing our focused news items. Desi has been an engineering news and features journalist/editor across all disciplines since 2013 - part of a 30-year career writing for a wide range of industries.