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Legacy projects shortlisted as part of Somerset Dam upgrade

New recreation trails, development of a new rural fire service shed and upgrades to the day use area in Somerset Dam Village are some of the shortlisted legacy projects being considered as part of the Somerset Dam upgrade.

Upgrades to the dam viewing area on Esk-Kilcoy Road are one of the potential legacy projects shortlisted as part of Somerset Dam upgrade.

New recreation trails, development of a new rural fire service shed and upgrades to the day use area in Somerset Dam Village are some of the shortlisted legacy projects being considered as part of the Somerset Dam upgrade.

Somerset Dam, which was built between 1935 and 1959, is one of several dams to be upgraded as part of Seqwater’s Dam Improvement Program to bring the dam up to modern safety standards.

For the past few months, a community reference group (CRG) – consisting of representatives from local community groups, businesses and organisations – has been working with Seqwater to develop a Social Impact Management Plan, including various legacy projects.

The legacy projects are designed to bring long-term benefits that will meet the needs and priorities of the community as well as mitigate any project impacts.

A shortlist of 12 legacy projects has now been finalised for consideration, with one or more to be included in the detailed businesses case for the Somerset Dam upgrade project. The business case is expected to be completed next year ahead of scheduled construction in 2022.

Seqwater Major Projects General Manager Barbara van Heerden said the CRG had considered more than 40 project ideas put forward by members of the community.

“From the projects that have been shortlisted, there’s a clear focus on community safety, celebrating local heritage and improving recreation facilities,” Ms van Heerden said.

“There are some excellent proposals which will indeed provide long-lasting economic, recreational and tourism benefits to the community.”

Somerset Dam Upgrade Project Manager Silvia Oliveira said the CRG members had volunteered their time, given up their weekends and made a considerable commitment in working with Seqwater to protect and enhance the community they live in.

“CRG members have been working for months to identify the impacts of this dam upgrade on the community and help us come up with solutions,” Ms Oliveira said.

“Even when COVID-19 restrictions were put in place, the group was keen to stay on track so worked with Seqwater to hold CRG meetings virtually.

“The CRG members include community leaders with a proven history of working for the Somerset Region and include representatives from the Somerset Dam and Districts Progress Association, Kilcoy Chamber of Commerce and the Rural Fire Brigade – even a former local mayor.”

Shortlisted legacy project ideas:

  • Upgrades to the dam viewing area on Esk-Kilcoy Road
  • Construction of a new Rural Fire Service shed in Somerset Dam village
  • New pedestrian paths in Somerset Dam village, including a safe crossing of Esk-Kilcoy Road
  • Development of a new recreation trail between Somerset Dam village and The Spit
  • Establishment of a public display of heritage-related objects from the dam wall such as old gates and winches
  • Restoration of the old swimming hole near the village, with addition of a kayak launch point on the Stanley River
  • Upgrades to the day use area (playground) in Somerset Dam village, including new public toilets
  • Upgrades to facilities at The Spit
  • Relocation of the memorial to workers who died during construction of the dam
  • Development of a community arts and heritage centre in Somerset Dam village using one of Seqwater’s old houses
  • Redevelopment of the Caboonbah Homestead site and  a new boat ramp
  • Establishment of a connection from the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail to Somerset Dam using the old bullock trail stock rout

​For more information or to provide your feedback about the proposed legacy projects contact Seqwater at [email protected]

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