The Queensland Government has announced it will invest $13.6 million to kick off the Emu Swamp Dam project on the Granite Belt in the town of Stanthorpe.

The Emu Swamp Dam is an $84 million proposal to dam the Severn River and provide water to local farms via a 117km pipe network. The distribution network will include solar power generation and large‑scale battery storage to power the pumps.

The proposed 12,074ML clay-core, rock-faced dam will provide up to 3900ML of entitlements annually to irrigators.

Natural Resources Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, said the State Government had been listening to local farmers and irrigators on the Southern Downs while it carefully examined the project business case.

“The  drought has been long and hard on our food and fibre producers and their local communities,” Dr Lynham said.

“My department has been working closely with the proponent, Granite Belt Water, since the Emu Swamp Dam business case was completed several months ago.

“The state will now provide the $13.6 million conditional grant that Granite Belt Water has requested.”

The State Government’s funding conditions include:

  • The proponent being able to secure access to sufficient water entitlements. This will involve discussions with local stakeholders and securing environmental approvals
  • Appropriately qualified and expert engineers reviewing and endorsing the design of the dam and distribution network
  • The Queensland Government having input into the choice of expert reviewers and the design and delivery process
  • The proposed owner, Granite Belt Water, providing information about the ongoing viability of the proposal and the business to allow State Government to undertake due diligence assessments   
  • That if construction contracts cannot be signed for $84 million, the viability of the project will be reconsidered

The Queensland Government has already provided almost $950,000 to Southern Downs Regional Council to investigate and upgrade existing water infrastructure, and to investigate and construct potential new and rejuvenated groundwater bores and access to recycled water for industrial use.


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