Thursday, May 30, 2024

Toowoomba appoints team to lead dam safety project

Toowoomba Regional Council has announced Seymour Whyte Constructions and SMEC Australia as the successful tenderer for the Cressbrook Dam Safety Improvement Project.

Mayor, Geoff McDonald joined Councillors and representatives of Seymour Whyte and SMEC Australia at a special ceremonial signing at City Hall today.

Mayor McDonald said he was pleased that the unique project had reached the important milestone.

“Today we officially appoint the team who will undertake the first dam safety upgrade project and single largest by a local government in Queensland,” he said.

“Council continues to advocate to the Australian and Queensland Governments for funding for this unique and critical upgrade to an important strategic asset to increase water resilience for the Region.

“I’m pleased we can now announce Seymour Whyte and SMEC Australia as the successful tenderer for the Cressbrook Dam Safety Improvement Project.

“We have been through a rigorous process to this point and have great confidence Seymour Whyte and SMEC have the on-the-ground and international experience we are looking for in the delivery of the upgrade.”

The budget for the project is approximately $270 million over three to four financial years and is the single-largest project in the history of Toowoomba Regional Council, the Mayor said.

Seymour Whyte’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, John Kirkwood said the project marks a critical step forward in infrastructure development and environmental stewardship.

“Our Project Alliance with SMEC and Toowoomba Regional Council underlines our dedication to delivering innovative solutions that meet the dual challenges of modern engineering and ecological sustainability, with every aspect carefully planned to minimise impact and maximise benefit,” Mr Kirkwood said.

“Our approach to this project is ingrained in environmental and sustainability consciousness. Every step will be taken in our design and construction to develop innovative solutions for the dam’s long-term viability and adherence to modern engineering standards.”

Kate Drews, SMEC ANZ Acting CEO said: “We are pleased to be working alongside our Alliance partners to help deliver resilient water infrastructure for the Toowoomba Region.

“The long-term viability of key assets like Cressbrook Dam is vital to regional communities and we look forward to bringing our expertise to the project.”

Mayor McDonald said Council will now work with Seymour Whyte and SMEC to establish a Project Alliance to deliver the project.

“Council is confident that the tender’s procurement arrangements will give local businesses every opportunity to benefit from this once-in-a-multi-generation project. Council has used a similar procurement approach to drive positive economic benefits for the Region in other major infrastructure projects, such as the current flood recovery program, that is seeing 70% of expenditure being delivered by local companies,” he said.

“Council will also continue to advocate for Government funding to help deliver the project and is looking forward to continuing to work with the Minister for Water Glenn Butcher in the refreshed Queensland Government.

“The project will maintain the integrity of the dam wall during extreme flood events and protect landholders downstream of Cressbrook Dam, along Cressbrook Creek, in the Somerset Regional Council area, including Toogoolawah.

“Additionally, Cressbrook Dam is a critical element in the proposed drought emergency water to be delivered to Warwick in the Southern Downs Regional Council via the Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline.

“Recent discussions with both the Australian and Queensland Governments, including various relevant ministers, have been worthwhile and Council’s team has been working closely with State Government representatives on advancing the business case, which we will present to government for funding of this project.

“This project will improve water security, while being economically and environmentally responsible.”

Preliminary work on the Cressbrook Dam Safety Improvement Project is expected to start early in 2024.

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