The Paradise Dam rebuild is forging ahead, with a key contract being awarded for works around the site, to get important roads and access points ready ahead of construction.
Bundaberg contracting company Harrison Infrastructure Group (HIG) has been awarded a $2.6 million contract with Sunwater to examine haulage and construction transport needs around Paradise Dam.
Minister for Water Glenn Butcher said local company will spearhead an extensive investigation of the road network leading to the dam.
"This is an important early milestone for a long-term project that will deliver water security and safety for the Bundaberg region," Mr Butcher said.
"Our government's investment includes $30.1 million for the next 12 months, as part of the broader $1.2 billion investment in this project.
"With a project as significant in size as this rebuild, we need to focus on not only building the dam back stronger and safer but also ensuring the early works - particularly the road network being made safer - meet the needs of the project and the community over the long term.
"We are getting on with the job of restoring Paradise Dam and local workers from the region are going to play a crucial role, with up to eight regional jobs being supported by this contract alone."
The rebuild of Paradise Dam will create approximately 250 jobs during construction.
Bundaberg MP Tom Smith said the Paradise Dam Improvement Project will require significant heavy vehicle movements as quarry materials and equipment are moved to the work site.
"It's great to see local businesses benefiting already for this project," Mr Smith said.
"These early works are vital to ensure the construction program is safe and has the right materials on site and ready for when construction begins.
"As we've said before, this project is huge - restoring Paradise Dam to its original height will use almost as much concrete as when the dam was originally built.
"This is going to be a big job and the Palaszczuk government is taking all the necessary steps to make sure it's done right."
Sunwater CEO Glenn Stockton said Sunwater and HIG are engaging with North Burnett and Bundaberg regional councils and the Department of Transport and Main Roads and will contact local property owners as planning for this important work gets underway.
"Moving forward, the project team is focused on progressing design and planning approvals and planning to engage with industry to secure a construction partner," Mr Stockton said.
"We will continue to work with the local community on this crucial project and will provide information about future work opportunities as they are available."
HIG will examine haulage and construction transport needs to determine what road upgrades are necessary.
Sunwater is completing engineering design and detailed work, supported by geotechnical activities.
Early works to commence this financial year include planning, design and upgrades of existing roads, investigations into suitable aggregate and other construction materials and planning the mobilisation and establishment at the construction site.
Enabling works for the project are expected to start in 2023, including local road upgrades, with major works at the dam expected to commence in 2024.
An alliance of farming groups representing the key commodities produced in the Bundaberg region have called on the federal government to confirm their commitment to co-funding the reinstatement of Paradise Dam.
Following the state government's $600m funding announcement in early 2022, the Coalition government at the time matched it.
The federal Labor party, in opposition at the time, also committed funding to reinstate the dam, with the funding commitment made by Senator Chisholm during the election campaign.
The Bundaberg farming groups have now written to the new Minister for Water, Tanya Pllibersek and the new Minister for Agriculture, Murray Watt, requesting written confirmation of the federal government's support for the state government's plans to reinstate the dam.
The farming groups have also invited the two Ministers to visit the Bundaberg region and see firsthand the nation building wealth and opportunity that Paradise Dam supports.
The federal Labor government is reviewing the $7.4 billion of water infrastructure, which includes the $600m for Paradise Dam, promised by the previous Coalition government.
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