Bjelke-Petersen Dam

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Bjelke-Petersen Dam
Location 10 km (6.2 mi) east of Wondai, Queensland
Coordinates 26°18′19″S 151°58′37″E / 26.3054°S 151.977°E / -26.3054; 151.977Coordinates: 26°18′19″S 151°58′37″E / 26.3054°S 151.977°E / -26.3054; 151.977
Type reservoir
Primary inflows Barker Creek
Basin countries Australia
Surface area 2,250 ha (5,600 acres)
Water volume 134,900 ML (4,760×10^6 cu ft)[1]
Surface elevation 307.3 m (1,008 ft)
References [1]

Construction of Bjelke-Petersen Dam near Cherbourg in Queensland, commenced in 1984 and finished in 1988. It created the lake that was named Lake Barambah after the original property in the region. The dam supplies water to the South Burnett region, mostly for irrigation purposes.

The dam wall is 540 m (1,770 ft) long and rises 34 m (112 ft).[2] The wall is an earth and rock fill structure with a central clay core, which can hold back 134,900 ML of water.[2] The dam is generally shallow. Barker Creek provides the main inflow, while Four Mile Creek, Six Mile Creek, Frickey Creek and Cattle Creek also flow into the dam.[2]


In the 1990s management of the camping and recreational facilities was handed to Murgon Shire Council.[3] Facilities for caravans, cabins, camping and day-trippers are extensive. Under normal conditions there are no boating restrictions, except near the dam wall.[2]

In 2006, drought conditions had reduced dam levels to 5% of total capacity.[4] With such low levels, visitors numbers had dropped significantly and local councils were concerned about maintaining drinking water for local towns.

SunWater, the managing organisation of the dam, is undertaking a dam spillway capacity upgrade program to ensure the highest level of safety for their dams is maintained. The spillway upgrade commenced in 2007.[5][6]


The dam is stocked with bass, golden perch, silver perch and southern saratoga.[2] Additionally eel-tailed catfish, spangled perch and bony bream are present naturally.[2] A Stocked Impoundment Permit is required to fish in the dam.[7] The Bjelke-Petersen Dam Fishing Classic is held every October.[3]

Illegally introduced sleepy cod and red-claw crayfish are maintaining breeding populations.[2] In 2002, Tilapia were posing a threat to the dam, resulting in the need for pipeline screening to be implemented in an effort to stop eggs and larvae entering the dam.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sunwater Current Water Storage Information
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Harrison, Rod; Ernie James; Chris Sully; Bill Classon; Joy Eckermann (2008). Queensland Dams. Bayswater, Victoria: Australian Fishing Network. pp. 68—69. ISBN 978-1-86513-134-4. 
  3. ^ a b "South Burnett Tourism - Murgon and the Bjelke-Petersen Dam". South Burnett Tourism. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  4. ^ "Councils seek setting aside of dam water". ABC News online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2006-03-23. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  5. ^ Spillway Capacity Upgrade Program Archived 2008-02-13 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Sunwater - Bjelke-Petersen Dam, Spillway Upgrade Program Archived August 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Do I need a permit? Archived 2009-05-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Net bid to contain noxious tilapia". ABC News online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2002-03-01. Retrieved 2009-05-14.