Townsville Enterprise is able to start a detailed business case and environmental impact statement for the Hells Gates Dam proposal after a $24 million funding deal.
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the State Government had signed an agreement with TEL under the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.
“In the coming weeks TEL will be able to begin sourcing engineering, geotechnical, economic, environmental and construction cost assessments,” he said.
“I look forward to seeing detailed analysis that the people of North Queensland and government need to be able to understand the viability of the Big Rocks and Hells Gates proposals.”
Townsville Enterprise is proposing to complete a business case for Big Rocks Weir (site pictured above) in mid-2020 and the remaining assessment of the larger Hells Gates Dam component in mid-2022.
The Hells Gates Dam proposal is to dam the Upper Burdekin north of Charters Towers, providing long-term water security for Townsville and supplying water to a 50,000ha irrigated agriculture scheme.
The proposal includes the Big Rocks Weir for long term water security for Charters Towers Regional Council.
The total project proposal – including a pumped hydroelectric scheme of up to 1200 MW – is estimated to cost $5.35 billion.
The Federal Government last year committed $54 million to Stage 1 of the Hells Gates Dam Irrigation Scheme, including the $24 million to progress studies on the proposal, however the State also had to sign off on the deal.