A meeting held in Bundaberg last week with industry representatives and Queensland Minister for Water, Regional Development and Manufacturing, Glenn Butcher, has clarified government thinking about the future of Paradise Dam.
One of the
meeting participants was AMS board member, Michael McMahon, who said that
representatives emphasised the importance of the dam in providing reliable
irrigation water to the area’s expanding macadamia industry.
“We emphasised that as well as the income from macadamias, the investment by our industry had flow-on effects for employment and economic development in the Bundaberg region,” Michael said.
Minister Butcher outlined three options being considered by the state government – to rebuild to the original full supply level, lowering the dam wall 5 m below the original supply level and lowering the dam wall to 5 m below the original supply level and building extra storage capacity to supply the demand for irrigation water.
“The minister said the preference was to rebuild to the original full supply level, as long as this was safe, and that engineering data, which is currently being collected, will be used to help with making the decision,” explained Michael.
The plan is
that a Cabinet decision will be made by next March and that engineering plans
and funding will be finalised by the end of 2022.
“According to the minister, the expectation is that works will start in 2023 and likely be completed by 2026, although this will depend on the works required and the weather,” said Michael.
IMAGE: L to R: Queensland Minister for Water, Regional Development and Manufacturing, Glenn Butcher, Craig Brice (Marquis Macadamias), Kevin Steinhardt (Macadamias Australia), Michael McMahon (AMS Board member) and Simon Andreoli (Marquis Macadamias)
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