Nullinga Dam


Consistent with the CWSS, the opportunity to assess and construct Nullinga Dam and associated infrastructure would provide long term water security for the wider region and enable growth in Northern Australia.

The purpose of the dam is to allow for future agricultural demand in the Mareeba-Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme (MDWSS)and the future urban demand in Cairns and Mareeba.

The current indicated storage capacity of the proposed dam is 365,000Ml, but it could provide an additional 126,000Ml with enhanced design options focused on the size of the dam wall.

While the Nullinga Dam project would provide both agricultural and urban water supply options, it also has the potential to stimulate a number of other catalytic projects around its construction, including hydro, lake-surface solar and water treatment plants.

Under the Northern Australian White Paper, the Federal Government has committed $5M to assessing the viability of the proposal, but further resources are required to secure approvals and investment. Whilst funded by the Commonwealth, the detailed business case is being overseen by Building Queensland.


Acquire the required land and design and construct a dam on the Walsh River.


Construction costs: approximately $323M
Annual operating costs: Approximately $3.6M

The Detailed Business Case commenced in July 2018 and is due for completion by the first quarter of 2019.


On the Walsh River, southwest of Mareeba within the Mareeba Shire Council and Barron Water Plan areas.

Tropical North Queensland has enjoyed consistent population growth over the past 25 years. This growth has been underpinned by the expansion of several industries, including agriculture, fisheries and tourism. Consequently, investment in key water infrastructure is critical to service our sustained economic growth.


That the Queensland Government, through Building Queensland, works with the Commonwealth Government to ensure the detailed business case is completed and released by the end of the 2018/19 FY within the context of the Cairns Water Security Strategy (CWSS), ensuring a clear link between the proposal and the future urban water and agricultural needs in the region.

That the Queensland Government commits to the acquisition of the land required for the Dam in the 2018/19FY.


CEO, Advance Cairns Ph: 07 4080 2900

Barron Water Resource Plan Area and Location of Tinaroo Falls Dam and Nullinga Dam  (BQ Preliminary Business Case)

Barron Water Resource Plan Area and Location of Tinaroo Falls Dam and Nullinga Dam (BQ Preliminary Business Case)

PROPONENTS: Advance Cairns, Mareeba Shire Council, Tablelands Regional
PRIORITY: Infrastructure
COUNCIL: Mareeba