New dams to tackle major flood events in Queensland

THE Queensland Government will consider increasing the size of Wivenhoe Dam and constructing a number of new dams to lessen the impact of future major floods.

It follows the announcement to change the way the dam operates in times of extreme weather to release more water to prevent widespread downstream flooding.

Premier Campbell Newman said the locations of eight new dams had been identified which would potentially protect thousands of homes and businesses.

"This is very early days and I stress to those landowners in the areas affected that there is a lot of work that needs to be undertaken before any plans are implemented," Mr Newman said.

"But it is our duty to do whatever work we can to investigate all possible options."

Possible new dam sites include the upper Brisbane River (near Linville), the Cooyar Creek (near Benarkin National Park), Emu Creek (near Harlin), the Bremer River (near Mt Walker), the Stanley River (near Peachester), Tenterhill Creek (near Gatton), Lockyer Creek (near Murphy's Creek) and Cressbrook Creek (near Kipper).

A scoping study will also take place to look at raising bridge levels below Wivenhoe Dam.

Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle said the Government would consider practical, sensible and affordable ways to protect more people from future floods.

"Unlike Labor, this government is very upfront and honest about the trade-offs people should expect in managing future flood events in order to provide greater flood protection for more local homes and businesses," Mr McArdle said.

"This government has already moved-on from simply thinking about how to reduce downstream flood risks to engaging in a public discussion about how we can build-in greater flood mitigation for more peoples' homes.

"Before the next wet season, south east Queensland residents should have confidence in the fact that if there is a flood event, dam operating decisions will always place greatest value in life, then people's homes, businesses and livelihood - and then public roads and bridges."

Mr McArdle said the Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams would be upgraded over the next 10 years as part of Seqwater's ongoing dam improvement program.