The Burdekin Basin needs integrated, multi-purpose catchment management
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
Hells Gates Dam: July 2020 Update
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
Our Burdekin Basin
LATEST UPDATES: Burdekin Regional Assessment announced in joint media release (17 May 2023).
Dam Proposals and Feasibility Studies
Water Security and Dams
Seminar: Ensuring a Viable Burdekin Basin (Sept 2020)
The Burdekin Basin supports a range of landscapes and communities, and activities such as agriculture, fishing and recreation.
Numerous dam proposals along the Burdekin could threaten the long-term health of the river, as well as the Ramsar wetlands of Bowling Green Bay and the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Urannah Dam, Hells Gates Dam, Big Rocks Weir and the expansion of the Burdekin Falls Dam could together contribute to:
- increased turbidity (dirtiness) of the Burdekin River
- rising water tables (and associated threats to agricultural production) in the Lower Burdekin
- the erosion of Cape Bowling Green due to sediment starvation, and
- increased nutrient flows to the Great Barrier Reef.
We have listed some useful resources on this page.
We aim to raise awareness of the risks associated with multiple, large-scale dam proposals and work with policy-makers, stakeholders and North Queensland communities to ensure the best outcomes for people, industry and the environment. We are working to prevent the Burdekin River from becoming the next Murray-Darling and advocating for an integrated management approach.
- This document was prepared by Dr Eric Wolanski and John Connell, and provides a summary of some of the environmental issues facing the Burdekin Basin, with a focus on the erosion of Cape Bowling Green.
- Check out the Productivity Commission webinar (02/03/2021) on National Water Reform 2020 here.
- Read our submission on the National Water Reform draft report here.
- Read our latest submissions on the Burdekin Falls Dam Raising Project and the Urannah Dam Project here.
- The Terms of Reference for the Environmental Impact Statement for Big Rocks Weir have been released, as of July 2021.