More than $200 million has been invested by the Palaszczuk Government in upgrades, refurbs and new projects on Queensland’s bulk water infrastructure including dams, to secure future water supply while generating hundreds of jobs across the state.
Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Seqwater had delivered a record $145.4 million capital works program to enhance the operation and performance of South-East Queensland’s water grid.
The Minister was speaking after the tabling of Government-owned Corporations annual reports.
“Work to upgrade the state’s decades-old dams and reservoirs to modern national safety standards has really ramped up,” he said.
“Seqwater has delivered a record year of work including upgrades to Leslie Harrison and Sideling Creek Dams, as well as the ongoing planning for upgrades to Lake Macdonald, Ewen Maddock, Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams.
“Our dams are built to very high safety standards but over the past 50 years the methodologies and data used to estimate extreme rainfall events and flooding have significantly changed.”
Dr Lynham said Seqwater’s major upgrade to the Somerset Dam Hydro-Electric Plant had also come online.
“Completion of the $11 million upgrade has increased energy generation capacity at the plant from 3.2 to 4.1 megawatts—adding to Queensland’s renewable energy generation,” he said.
“Somerset may be one of south-east Queensland’s major drinking water dams, but it’s also a renewable powerhouse helping Queensland move towards our 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.”
Dr Lynham said a number of Sunwater major projects had also kicked into gear.
“Last financial year, major work was done for the $170 million Fairbairn Dam improvement project near Emerald, which is now two-thirds complete,” he said.
“Essential maintenance repair work to ensure the safety and integrity of EJ Beardmore Dam near St George was also completed.”
Dr Lynham said all the water works last financial year, created jobs and opportunities across many Queensland businesses including building materials suppliers and surveyors; concreters, earth moving contractors; engineers; and electricians.
“Queensland has 53 state-owned referable dams that store drinking water, protect our communities from flooding, and provide recreation opportunities, from water skiing to lakeside picnicking,” he said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is investing money to ensure these water assets are kept in top condition and creating hundreds of jobs along the way.”