Gladstone could soon get a dam, in case Lake Awoonga fails

RESIDENTS of Mount Rollo Rd in Toolooa are about to have waterfront properties thanks to a new dam being built by Gladstone Area Water Board.

GAWB's offline storage reservoir was discussed at a board meeting last Thursday and The Observer understands the project is progressing.

Chief executive officer Jim Grayson expects the board to officially sign off on the plan in coming weeks.

The storage reservoir will be located on a block of land purchased by GAWB between Gladstone Benaraby Rd and Mount Rollo Rd, south of the Toolooa Reservoir.

It will hold about 1200ML, or 14 days water supply, in case the Awoonga Dam Pump Station fails.

The pump station replenishes the region's water network nightly, however, a failure could interrupt a number of key industries.

These include the Gladstone Power Station, Callide Power Station, Boyne Smelters Limited, Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun and Gladstone and Cement Australia.

The Gladstone Area Water Board Offline Storage Reservoir will be built at the end of Cupitt road with homes along Mount Old Rollo Road looking down at it. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer
The Gladstone Area Water Board Offline Storage Reservoir will be built at the end of Cupitt road with homes along Mount Old Rollo Road looking down at it. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer Paul Braven

Gladstone Industry Leadership Group chief executive officer Kurt Heidecker said the last time supply was threatened showed how important water was to industry.

"When we had the millennial drought (1997-2009), sites were looking at alternatives. One was looking at reverse osmosis, (and) there was stormwater and sewerage," he said.

"If there was some flexibility in the supply it would be good for the process.

"It's a key strategic resource in town, (all of the industries) would use raw water."

He said the major users would be Rio Tinto Alcan Gladstone and Yarwun, Cement Australia. Boyne Smelters Limited and Orica would have less water requirements.

Attila Szabo will look downhill at the new body of water and is happy the land is being used.

"The land is just sitting there not being used. I don't mind if they put a dam in," he said.

"As long as it is clean and not too noisy with the pumps and boats on it.

"It'll be a lot better to look at than the red dam."

Another neighbour, who lives off Skyring Hill Rd near the Gladstone Benaraby Rd, will be at the foot of the reservoir.

He has lived on the new dam site and said it was perfect.

"The natural shape of the valley (is great) and nobody lives down there," he said.

GAWB's 2014 report to the Queensland Competition Authority stated the reservoir would be paid for through an increase in prices to deliver water to customers by $30M/L, which equates to 1-3% of current prices.

Offline Storage Reservoir

  • 1200ML of water
  • 14 days of supply
  • $22m (estimated 2010)
  • Serviced by two pipelines
  • Surrounded by Cupitt Rd and Mount Rollo Rd
  • Geotechnical testing and environmental studies already carried out


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