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Aerial Drone of NSS @ Work

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An environmental impact statement for a proposal to increase the capacity Burdekin Falls Dam is one step closer after the release of the final terms of reference.

Project proponent Sunwater estimates up to 150 full-time jobs would be created during four years of construction to raise the existing dam wall at Lake Dalrymple, about 210km south of Townsville on the Burdekin River.

The work is estimated to cost between $358 million and $665 million, depending on the final height of the dam raising.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said Queensland’s Coordinator-General had considered all community submissions before finalising the terms of reference for the EIS.

“Queenslanders have had their say on what they would like to see included in the terms of reference for the EIS on the Burdekin Falls Dam Raising project,” Mr Miles said.

“All of the submissions were considered by the Coordinator-General in finalising the terms of reference.

“The proposal to raise the Burdekin Falls Dam is a key project with potential to secure long-term water storage and supply in North Queensland for industrial, agricultural, urban and residential use.

“Jobs and water security will help to secure our state’s future.”
A total of 69 submissions were received during the eight-week public notification period, through to January 29, 2021.

A key issue raised was the potential cumulative impact of multiple water infrastructure projects. These include potential impacts on river flows, sediment transport, groundwater and aquatic fauna. 

The terms of reference have also been amended to include matters raised in submissions relating to the assessment of climate change impacts, dam failure risk and the project’s cost-benefit assessment.

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