Agricultural infrastructure and urban water independence infrastructure for Townsville’s growing population is being planned on the upper Burdekin River 150 kilometres north-west of Townsville at Hells Gate.
Community information sessions are being held next week as part of the feasibility study for the Hell Gate Dam in the Charters Towers local government area (LGA).
The Charter Towers Gold Club will host the information session commencing at 10 am on Wednesday 16th August.
Townsville Enterprise has been commissioned to lead the $2.2 million feasibility study into constructing the Hells Gate Dam.
Charters Towers Regional Council and Townsville Enterprise are inviting the public to have their say on the Hells Gates Dam feasibility study.
Eleven local businesses have formed a syndicate of expertise under the direction of national engineering consulting firm SMEC to under take the feasibility study.
The feasibility study will examine the Hells Gate Dam construction to “support large-scale irrigated agriculture on the upper Burdekin River and to secure long-term water supply for Townsville”, Townsville Enterprise press release stated.
Michael McMillan, Townsville Enterprise Director- Policy & Investment said, “The feasibility study is the most comprehensive ever undertaken into the Hells Gates Dam concept and we’re keen to hear what locals think about the opportunity.
“We want to bring the community on board to fully understand the study objectives and the processes and have their say on the development.
Charters Towers Mayor Cr Liz Schmidt said: “Council staff are sharing their local knowledge and skills in support of the feasibility study.”
“Hells Gates Dam is potentially a hugely significant project, securing water to supply what could be one of the largest irrigated agricultural developments in northern Australia,” Cr Schmidt said.
“Provided the numbers stack up, it’s an incredibly exciting opportunity for Charters Towers and North Queensland to grow and diversify our economies, creating new and sustainable industry and job opportunities”.
“I encourage anyone with an interest in the Hells Gates Dam project to get along to the information session to learn more about the study process, and gain a better understanding of the potential scale of the undertaking”.
A consortium of North Queensland businesses, led by international engineering and development consultants, SMEC, has begun a range of detailed investigations.
“After reviewing historical data on the dam concept, the expert study group is now commencing the next phase of the project,” Mr. McMillan said.
“Study group members are working closely with Charters Towers Regional Council and local graziers and farmers to analyse soils, conduct field observations, and examine the upper Burdekin’s hydrology and surrounding geology”.
“Detailed agricultural market assessments are also underway, together with reviews of Indigenous land and cultural interests, and opportunities for hydro-electricity generation”.
The $2.2 million study is funded by the Federal Government’s National Water Infrastructure Development Fund and is being project managed by Townsville Enterprise.
The feasibility study is due to be completed in early 2018.
The Townsville City Council announced the delivery of a water management initiative recommended by the Water Security Taskforce in Townsville headlined by celebrity gardener Jamie Durie, budgeting $10 million for a community education campaign.
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