Townsville Enterprise Limited has been tasked with completing a comprehensive business case for the Hells Gates Dam project, north-west of Townsville .
The move was announced in Townsville today and falls under a $500 million expansion of the Federal Government’s National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to more than $1 billion.
Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack said compiling a business case wass the first major milestone towards the Hells Gates Dam project’s development.
“The Coalition Government is investing up to $24 million to develop the business case, which is the first major milestone towards progressing the project,” Mr McCormack said.
“The Coalition has also committed $30 million to fast track construction of the Big Rocks Weir, subject to the outcomes of the business case.”
Mr McCormack said a feasibility study had identified potential economic and social benefits in advancing this major irrigated agricultural and power project on the upper Burdekin River.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Senator Matthew Canavan said more than $680 million had been committed in Northern Australia to identify and build water infrastructure that supports the growth of regional economies and communities.
“This includes five projects in Queensland: $200 million for water security for Townsville; $182 million for the Hughenden Irrigation Scheme; $176 million to co-fund the Rookwood Weir in Central Queensland; $54 million for the Hells Gates Dam project, including Big Rocks Weir; $11.6 million for the Mareeba Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme Efficiency Project; and $3 million for the Nogoa-Mackenzie Water Supply Scheme Efficiency Project,” he said.
“The Federal Government has committed $9.6 million in this year’s Budget to establish the North Queensland Water Infrastructure Authority.
“Also, we are investing more than $50.5 million on 19 feasibility studies, including $18.5 million for water resource assessment across four catchments in Northern Australia.”