Contractors to replace Queensland’s doomed Paradise Dam

Concrete problems have rendered the 19-year-old dam on the Burnett River near Bundaberg unfixable, authorities say (Image courtesy of CPB Contractors)
Queensland state water company Sunwater has hired CPB Contractors and civil engineering firm Georgiou to build a replacement wall for the unfixable Paradise Dam on the Burnett River near Bundaberg.

Built just 19 years ago for irrigation, the dam has been deemed unsafe owing to problems with its concrete.

Some of those problems were previously known, prompting Sunwater to lower the dam’s main spillway to relieve pressure on the wall in 2021.

Those problems related to the bond between the layers of roller compacted concrete.

Sunwater said lowering the spillway had cut the risk of dam failure from a one-in-200-year event to a one-in-5000-year event, but it also reduced the reservoir’s capacity.

Three more issues

Testing since then has uncovered three more issues: swelling clay in the concrete; the leaching out of bonding agents; and carbonation.

This led Sunwater to conclude that the dam completed in 2005 can’t be fixed.

CBP Contractors and Georgiou will build a new wall slightly downstream from the old one.

Engineer GHD is the design partner.

New one to last a century

Queensland water minister Glenn Butcher said the new wall would last 100 years.

“This is a significant milestone in our efforts to restore Paradise Dam to its original capacity,” Butcher said.

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  1. Is it coming out of Labor parties coppers or poor tax payer

  2. Who pays for the rebuild. Hopefully the original contractor.??? Not us tax payers. !@

  3. Why in the hell would you rebuild a dam that the locals would not buy the water allocation from ?
    Of course, they were happy to accept the increased security of supply but refused to “cough-up” for the privilege.

  4. That’s what they said about the last one

  5. It’s good to see some forward thinking on dams in Australia. I would like to see how long it takes for Australia wakes up and builds more dams. I would look to the north of Australia where we have an abundance of rivers and streams flowing into the oceans. Without more dams it will curtail the prosperity of our country. C Y O Connor proved that you can pump water from the coast to the interior. ( Perth to Kalgoorlie) late 1800 hundreds.

  6. Are the original government ministers and contractors not lible for incompetence and mismanagement for the greatest stuff up imaginable? It is a fair bet no consequences for what would not be tollerated in the real world.

  7. It must be done, these things happen

  8. I often wonder why a rock wall on the upstream side of the existing wall would not have been a good start

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