Responsible Agency: Department of Energy and Water Supply
BQ Role: Lead preliminary evaluation*
Proposal Stage of Development: Preliminary evaluation underway
Current Stage End Date: Q4 2016
Date of Publication: June 2016 (for the period 3 December 2015 – 3 June 2016)


Future urban water demand for the Cairns area and the stimulation of irrigated agricultural growth in the region requires additional water supplies.

The potential for population increase stemming from the development of the proposed Aquis Resort is a driver of high-series water demand projections in Cairns.


Nullinga Dam is a proposed new dam located inland on the Walsh River, within the Mareeba Shire Council and Barron Water Resource Plan areas in Far North Queensland. It is approximately 55 kilometres south-west of Cairns, 24 kilometres south-southwest of Mareeba and downstream of the Collins Weir.
If constructed, the Nullinga Dam would create a water supply source to service future urban water demand requirements for the Cairns area as well as supplementing irrigation water supply for the region. Further project development is required to:

  • update current information in relation to the potential yield of the proposed Nullinga Dam and other options
  • assess the potential yield and water supply reliability of the different options against the identified future needs for water within the region.

Any new water infrastructure requiring State investment will need to demonstrate environmental sustainability and economic viability.


Complete Preliminary Evaluation.

*It is proposed that Building Queensland undertake a Preliminary Business Case (which includes the elements of a Preliminary Evaluation). Subject to the outcomes of this Preliminary Business Case and further government consideration, Building Queensland would undertake a full Business Case for the project.