Construction tenders for the Granite Belt Irrigation Project (GBIP), one of Queensland’s first new dams in a decade, will be released in mid-2020.

The GBIP will deliver a 12,000ML dam at Emu Swamp, south-west of Stanthorpe, and 117km of pipeline to provide water to 51 agribusiness customers. 

GBIP plans to release the dam construction tender in July, with the pump stations and pipelines following later in the year. The budgeted cost for these two tenders is approximately $60 million.

GBIP Chairman, Dan Hunt, said with committed government and private funding, high levels of community support and significant local subcontracting capacity, he is anticipating strong contractor competition to deliver infrastructure that will transform the Granite Belt’s water security.

“This project is desperately needed in a premium food bowl region that virtually ran out of water in early 2020,” Mr Hunt said.

“As a result of our thorough work, we have committed funding of $23.4 million from local irrigators – the highest proportion of private investment in water infrastructure in Queensland’s history – $47 million from the Australian Government and a conditional commitment of $13.6 million from the Queensland Government. 

“This is great news in tough economic conditions, and we are looking forward to a very competitive tender process later in the year.”

Pre-tender milestones delivered by GBIP to confirm the project’s viability include a $3 million detailed business case approved by the Federal and State Governments, environmental approvals secured, and irrigator commitment to purchase water entitlements for the 3,900ML scheme. 

The project is supported at the highest levels of government, with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, stating in 2019, “We will work collaboratively with the State Government to make sure we get this project moving as quickly as we can.”

The Queensland Government recently allocated $6 million of its funds to take the project through to an expected construction start in early 2021, including managing the tender process.

Detailed and viable preliminary designs have been completed and will be issued with the tender documents to assist with managing the cost to tender. 

Interested contractors can source additional information before the tenders are released at

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