The New Bradfield Scheme

The LNP has a plan to build Queensland’s biggest-ever drought-busting infrastructure project, the New Bradfield Scheme.

The project will create tens of thousands of jobs, generate 2,000 megawatts of hydroelectricity and irrigate an area of land larger than Tasmania.

The New Bradfield Scheme has been developed by two of Queensland’s most respected knights of industry – Sir Leo Hielscher and Sir Frank Moore – and was inspired by the drought-relief scheme proposed by Queensland engineer John Bradfield in 1938.

Drought is costing Australia $12 billion a year and it is devastating regional communities.

The New Bradfield Scheme will help to drought-proof Queensland while generating new jobs for generations to come. The project will change the face of Queensland, but it will only be delivered by an LNP Government.

Our plan will use water from the largest dam ever built in Queensland to create a new foodbowl on the western side of the Great Dividing Range. While the original Bradfield Scheme required expensive pumping to transfer water over the range, the New Bradfield Scheme would use gravity to feed water from the Hells Gates Dam through tunnels beneath the range. This change will significantly increase the scheme’s efficiency.

The existing Hells Gates Dam proposal, which is also backed by the Federal Government, would be the start of the New Bradfield Scheme. Under the plan, the height of the Hells Gates Dam would be almost doubled to over 120 metres, drawing water from the South Johnstone, Tully, Herbert and Burdekin rivers into a lake potentially twice the size of the Burdekin Falls Dam.

Instead of consuming huge volumes of electricity, the New Bradfield Scheme would generate up to 2,000 megawatts of green energy through a series of hydro-electric plants. It will easily be the biggest hydro-electric project this state has ever seen, powering up to 800,000 Queensland homes.

During the February floods in North Queensland, the volume of water spilling over Burdekin Falls Dam would have filled Sydney Harbour in just five hours.

That water all went out to the sea – but the New Bradfield Scheme would capture North Queensland’s water and use it to create new jobs and secure the future of rural communities.

Water from the scheme will be used to irrigate around 80,000 square kilometres of rich blacksoil plains to the south and west of Hughenden – 10,000 square kilometres bigger than Tasmania. The New Bradfield Scheme will then divert water into the Warrego River and the northern basin of the Murray-Darling System, where it will be reserved for use by southern Queensland farmers.

Tens of thousands of jobs would be created through the construction of the New Bradfield Scheme and the expansion of high-value agriculture. The future of Queensland’s regional communities would be secured for good by capitalising on Asia’s abundant demand for food.

This visionary project will complement our existing dam program, which will provide water security east of the Great Dividing Range.

The project would require billions of dollars and take over a decade to construct, but we need to look over the horizon if we want a prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.. The time has come for Queensland and Canberra to work together to tackle the huge financial and human costs of the drought.

If elected in 2020, a Deb Frecklington LNP Government will commission the CSIRO to begin advanced planning through a $20 million commitment to the New Bradfield Scheme.

While the Palaszczuk Labor Government has fake fights with Canberra to hide its own failures, the LNP will work with the Federal Government to build a better Queensland.

The upside of the New Bradfield Scheme for Queensland is huge. We can deliver tens of thousands of new jobs and give farmers the water they need to thrive.

The New Bradfield Scheme is an incredible opportunity for Queensland. Let’s seize it.

 

FAQs

There has never been a feasibility study undertaken into the New Bradfield as proposed by Sir Leo Hielscher and Sir Frank Moore.

The New Bradfield is a gravity feed system utilising the proposed Hells Gates Dam. It will involve a series of tunnels to the water west of range to highly productive soils that just need water. 

Now more than ever, Water scarcity is one of the biggest challenges facing Queensland. The LNP’s bold vision for the New Bradfield Scheme is unlike any proposal that has ever been considered before and that’s why an LNP will work with the CSIRO to take the project forward.

Queenslanders are sceptical because Labor are anti-dams and don’t have a plan for water security.

The LNP understands the need for water security and that’s why a future Deb Frecklington LNP Government will back the New Bradfield Scheme. This is about looking beyond a four-year election cycle and setting up Queensland for the next 100 years.

It will cost around $15 billion and it will take over a decade to build, but it will drought-proof western Queensland and set up Queensland for the next 100 years.

The first step is the important work the CSIRO will be commissioned to do.

Through the LNP’s Queensland Infrastructure Fund, billions of dollars of royalties from the Galilee Basin will be used exclusively to build more infrastructure across Queensland.

The Queensland Resources Council has estimated that if the whole Galilee Basin was developed it would generate nearly $1 billion per year in royalties for the Queensland Government.

New Bradfield will be an asset built and owned by Queenslanders.

The New Bradfield Scheme is a visionary project that will deliver water security, transform our regional economies, boost renewable hydroelectric power, reduce carbon emissions from new vegetation growth and limit nutrient runoff into the Great Barrier Reef.

The New Bradfield Scheme will dramatically reduce environmentally damaging water discharge into the Great Barrier Marine Park. During this year’s monsoonal event, runoff from the Burdekin River could be seen reaching Old Reef more than 60 kilometres out to sea. This nutrient-heavy discharge increases the risk of algae blooms and coral bleaching events.

The environmental impacts will be properly assessed for any major project.

Yes – many.

The Hoover Dam built in the 1930s has a dam height of 221.4 metres.

The New Bradfield Scheme would generate up to 2000 megawatts of green energy through a series of hydro-electric plants.

It would easily be the biggest hydro-electric project this state has ever seen. It could power up to 800,000 Queensland homes.

The New Bradfield Scheme

LNP commits to drought busting plan

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