Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions

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QEAS helps ensure the rebuilding of Paradise Dam

I am extremely pleased to announce the Queensland Government have made a key decision to rebuild the Paradise Dam.

The Paradise Dam is in the Bundaberg region and was opened in 2005 with a capacity of 300,000 megalitres of water. Owing to dam safety concerns the dam wall was lowered last year to maintain structural integrity resulting in significant loss of overall capacity.  The Queensland Government have now made a very good decision to rebuild the dam wall to its original height. 

QEAS was engaged by Bundaberg Regional Council, Canegrowers and Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers to conduct detailed stakeholder consultation within the Bundaberg region with irrigators, supply chain businesses, community groups, and the Council. From this work QEAS assisted in economic analysis of future water demand estimates for the Paradise Dam.

Feedback from consultation sessions indicated that Paradise Dam was a critical issue for growers in the Bundaberg Region. In general, the Paradise Dam has provided for reliability and in turn water security that has created grower certainty that has underpinned confidence to invest and employ. 

According to the views of stakeholders, the potential of Bundaberg irrigated agriculture is enormous, serving as one of Australia’s major food bowls. Conversely the permanent loss of capacity of the Paradise Dam was described as a potential “economy killer” given that it is hugely important for Bundaberg growers. 

Key analysis indicated there would be an impact on the whole of the irrigated agriculture value chain including nurseries, sugar mills, transport operators, packaging providers, ports, planting and harvesting contractors, fuel distributors, fertiliser and chemical retailers, farm machinery retailers, irrigation equipment suppliers, and accountants and insurance brokers. 

Furthermore, if these businesses are impacted their employees would be, too, leading to a reduction in expenditure across the broader community as they will no longer be spending their wages. 

The overwhelming feedback indicated the requirement for the Government to rebuild it. Analysis clearly indicated the Queensland Government’s long-term economic benefit would outweigh the short-term financial cost of rebuilding the Paradise Dam. 

We are very proud of this work and the result it has achieved for Bundaberg growers.

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