Dr Anthony Lynham


Multi-million dollar water infrastructure for North Queensland

Burdekin Hydro power project

9 September, 2019 –

The Palaszczuk Government has given the green light for the proposal to raise Burdekin Falls Dam wall to progress to the next stage.

Sunwater, the government-owned corporation that owns and operates the dam, will now begin a $16 million detailed business case into the potential raising of Queensland’s largest dam.

Upgrading the Burdekin Falls Dam is the next step in developing the Burdekin Hydro power project which is expected to create 200 jobs during construction and generate enough electricity to power 30,000 homes.

This is in line with our Powering North Queensland Plan to strengthen and diversify energy supply and support jobs in the state’s north.

The dam upgrade will also boost water security in the Townsville region.

The Burdekin Falls dam is the at the heart of one of Queensland’s largest agricultural hubs and the extra water for irrigation could support another 10,000 hectares of production.

Investigations to date show enough interest from farmers and industry in more water, as well as future urban demand in Townsville.

Any major investment like this needs to have a detailed business case to back it up and that’s precisely the action we’re taking.

The proposal is to raise the spillway crest of the dam to increase capacity. The detailed business case will include analysis of the environmental, economic, financial, and sustainability factors and an environmental impact statement.

The detailed business case will also investigate the most viable height by which to raise the dam, but as an example, raising the dam by two meters would increase the storage capacity by approximately 150,000 megalitres—bringing the total capacity to 2.01 million megalitres.

The Palaszczuk Government has previously invested $225 million into Townsville’s water security – $10 million for Townsville City Council’s Water Smart Package to help residents use water sustainably and $215 million for Stage 1 of the Haughton Pipeline Duplication.

The Haughton Pipeline project duplicates existing pipeline and when fully operational, operational will be capable of delivering 356 megalitres of water per day from Burdekin to Ross River Dam – nearly triple the current capacity.

More than 11km of piping has now been laid and more than 900 people and 150 businesses have now directly or indirectly worked on the project.