Shifting from pioneering to mature and efficient water use
The sand spit off the coast south-east of Townsville that we call Cape Bowling Green has the important job of sheltering the Ramsar-listed (internationally important) wetlands of Bowling Green Bay National Park and the communities of Cungulla and Jerona from the forces of the open ocean.
Frighteningly, that long, thin sandy cape is currently under threat of being washed away entirely - and the Burdekin Falls Dam could be partly to blame.
Confusing concept? Using the research of Dr Eric Wolanski and imagery from John Connell and Chris Hopper, this article will help you wrap your head around this important local issue.Read more
The following letter by John Connell was published in the Townsville Bulletin on 1 May 2021.
In the last week several Federal politicians, McCormack and Littleproud passed through Townsville and talked up building more dams in the north. They criticised the Queensland Government for being slow to spend big dollars on building new dams, a mouth-watering $6B for Hells Gates Dam.
These are intelligent men, and so they should take the time to do the maths. The water really isn't there. In the TEL (Townsville Enterprise Ltd.) proposal, Hells Gates Dam would provide up to 580,000 ML from the Upper Burdekin catchment to irrigate 50,000 ha. TEL's Feasibility Study of 2018 showed that while the mean flows are 1,160,000 ML per year, the flows in most years will be closer to half that. Extracting half or more of the mainstream flows is not acceptable for the health of the river. We only need to look at the Murray-Darling.Read more
Media Release: 22/03/2021
Burdekin River Sustainability in focus on World Water Day
- North Queensland’s Burdekin River system is one of Australia’s most important, and supports:
- Internationally important wetlands, which are breeding grounds for native species,
- Productive agricultural areas, and
- Important cultural sites to First Nations groups and the wider North Queensland community.
- NQCC is working alongside experts, stakeholders and policy makers to explore integrated, innovative approaches for improved ecological and economic outcomes for the region.
- The Swim for Our Rivers fundraiser has raised almost $6,000 towards this work.
22 March is World Water Day, which provides an opportunity to reflect on what the future holds for the mighty Burdekin River – one of Australia’s most important river systems. According to eminent scientist John Williams, if urgent action is not taken, the Burdekin River could follow the same path to degradation as the Murray-Darling. With four dams proposed, it appears that its plight is heavily misunderstood.Read more
In March this year, we are joining Mackay Conservation Group's "Swim for Our Rivers" fundraiser, to kickstart the next phase of our campaign to protect the future of the iconic Burdekin.
You are invited to register a team and help us fundraise in the lead up to our exciting Swim-A-Thon on Saturday 20 March at Mundingburra's Kokoda Memorial Pool! Got questions? Check out our FAQ page!Read more
Below is an article published in the Townsville Bulletin on Wednesday 16 December, 2020.
Burdekin Mayor, Lyn McLaughlin
Mayor Lyn McLaughlin calls for impact assessment of Burdekin catchment damming
A North Queensland mayor has called for an independent body to review the potential impacts of damming the Burdekin River catchment.Read more
Media Release: 2/11/2020
Dams plan was a political fizzer
The outcome of last weekend’s Queensland election shows that voters could not be swayed by the promise of the biggest dam building program in Australia’s history.
The LNP promised to build a major new dam on the Burdekin River to irrigate dry lands in the interior of Queensland. The scheme would have cost tens of billions of dollars and led to unsustainable reductions in freshwater flowing to coastal ecosystems, including estuaries that fisheries depend upon.
The policy was targeted at voters in key electorates in Townsville. In an announcement in August, LNP leader Deb Frecklington said “the biggest benefit will be felt in Townsville” and “[the] project that will secure Townsville’s economic future for generations to come”. Voters returned ALP candidates in all three Townsville seats with swings of about three per cent.Read more
Media Release: 25/09/2020
The Burdekin Basin needs integrated, multi-purpose catchment
Speaking at seminar held in Townsville last week, eminent scientist John Williams warned that if urgent action is not taken, the Burdekin River could follow the same path to degradation as the Murray Darling River. Professor Williams, Adjunct Professor at the Australian National University and founding member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, said that with multiple proposals for new dams on the Burdekin River, action is needed now.Read more
Turbid water below Burdekin Falls Dam (NQCC field trip, June 2020)
As more information comes to light from feasibility studies into the construction of Hells Gates Dam, it becomes ever clearer that this proposal is not only economically unfeasible but also a significant risk to the health of the Burdekin River and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park - particularly when considered alongside other projects proposed for the river system.Read more
There is no need for the Hells Gates Dam and it makes no sense! When Townsville faced a water crisis several years ago, all sorts of suggestions were made about the best way to secure a water supply for Townsville. The Hells Gates Dam was suggested by many as the way to guarantee water supply for Townsville, but we disagree.Read more