Paradise Dam water storage reduced

Paradise Dam
The water storage level at Paradise Dam is being reduced for safety reasons.

Sunwater has advised that water is being released from Paradise Dam to reduce the dam’s water storage level to 42 per cent for safety reasons.

Sunwater says that while the dam is safe under normal and current forecast weather conditions, detailed investigations have shown that there are issues with the dam in the unlikely event of another one-in-200-year event like 2013.

Reducing the dam’s storage level will facilitate essential work to lower the spillway wall in 2020 and allow for better community safety management.

An approved Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for Paradise Dam is in place.

“The water being released from the dam ahead of the 2019-20 wet season will not disrupt water supply to Bundaberg,” Sunwater said.

“Customers have been notified of the releases and opportunities to access unsold water being released at no charge.”

Sunwater advice to customers

The spillway wall will be lowered by five metres and while this initial work is undertaken, Building Queensland will conduct an accelerated assessment to guide future options for Paradise Dam.  Further work may be undertaken in 2021 as part of this essential work package.

This decision was not made lightly and was based primarily on community safety management and the preservation of customer allocations for the current water year. Approximately 25,000ML of customer-owned water, but not yet diverted, will be transferred to Ned Churchward Weir and Ben Anderson Barrage. Normal Scheme operations will provide access to this water.

A further 80,000ML of unsold water currently held by Sunwater will be released and made available at no charge. We are finalising the arrangements for scheme customers to access this water in an out-of-allocation event. Details will be announced this week following consultation with customer groups.

Community drop-in sessions

The Bundaberg community is invited to attend drop-in sessions regarding the essential work planned at Paradise Dam. Sunwater staff will be on hand to answer questions and discuss wet season preparedness.

Session 1      

  • When: Wednesday 25 September, 8.30am – 11.30am               
  • Where: North Progress Hall, 18 Queen St, Bundaberg North  

Session 2 

  • When: Thursday 26 September, 5pm – 8pm               
  • Where: Bundaberg School of Arts, 184 Bourbong Street, Bundaberg Central

Session 3

  • When: Saturday 28 September, 9am – 12pm                
  • Where: Bundaberg School of Arts, 184 Bourbong Street, Bundaberg Central

There is no need to RSVP – drop in anytime during the session. If you can’t make it to a session but have a question, please email or call 07 3120 0270.

Mayor Jack Dempsey calls for inquiry

Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said it's disappointing the media was told before local councils and key stakeholders.

“Water security is vital for the Bundaberg Region’s economic prosperity,” he said.

“We’re the food bowl of Australia and ready access to affordable water is one of our greatest competitive advantages.

“Bundaberg hasn’t had water restrictions since Paradise Dam was built in 2006. We’re in the middle of a drought and it’s a concern that future water supply won’t be sufficient to meet all agricultural, industrial and domestic requirements.

“It’s urgent that water being removed from Paradise Dam is replaced from other sources.”

Mayor Dempsey said it's now important the Government delivers on its commitment to flood proof Bundaberg.

“We’re five years into a 10-year action plan and nothing has been done to protect Bundaberg businesses and residents,” he said.

He also also asked the Federal Government to become involved.

“The Federal Government has shown interest in building new dams to improve water security and promote agricultural opportunities,” he said.

“I’d like the Federal Government to commission an inquiry into Paradise Dam that looks at all aspects of its operations.

“With Australian Government support it would be possible to raise the dam wall, increase its capacity and mitigate flood risk.”


  1. sounds like this stupid labor government trying to make us more water dependant and with it raise prices by saying we need more infrastructure, all ion the future which will never happen under any liber/labour government! If nothing is done soon they will go ahead and build another useless water desalination plant.
    Jack Dempsey please make sure they are stopped immediately else this will give those labour snipers more ammunition against you in future!

  2. Why not let Bundaberg residents, and those from other relevant areas, use the water to look after lawns and gardens for free. Most house gardens and lawns are looking so dry and brown Better than wasting it down the river and out to sea.

  3. You would think that knowing Australia is a drought ravaged country; that Sunwater and the Queensland Labor government would be looking at raising the Paradise dam wall; not reducing its capacity. Raising the dam wall would drought proof the Bundaberg region and secure this area future agricultural industries.

  4. About Paradise Dam. How easy the Environmental Minister can approve so much water being released when we are in drought. Towns are running out of water, people are doing it hard and this is not a good look. The dam survived the biggest flood in 100 years. So what is really the problem? And what happens to Mingo Crossing in all this?

  5. How utterly ridiculous to lower the spill way on paradise dam. We need more water not less. Now 5 more metres of water will come down the river in a flood. Way to go.

  6. Why dont you give the water to the people that need it badly like farmers no farmers no food for australia think before you do something.

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