Making Canberra dams safe for the community

Released 28/06/2018

The safety of local dams in the ACT is the focus of the ACT Dam Safety Code now approved by Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Mick Gentleman.

“The key focus of the Dam Safety Code is good practice in dam ownership in the ACT where dams present a significant level of risk to the communities,” ACT Technical Regulator, Ben Ponton said.

“Fortunately there are no known or reported such risks with any of the dams to be regulated under the new code, but it is important we have good systems in place.”

Under the Utilities (Technical Regulation) Act 2014, the ACT Dam Safety Code 2018 has been approved as a Technical Code. The purpose of the ACT Dam Safety Code is to identify and regulate the safety of dams with the potential for a failure which could have a significant adverse effect on the community.

The Australian Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) Guidelines are accepted by professionals in Australia as outlining requirements for good practice in dam ownership and are referenced as the basis for the regulation of dam safety management in all eastern states of Australia. The ACT Dam Safety Code 2018 also references ANCOLD Guidelines as the basis for good practice in dam ownership in the ACT.

“The Code brings the ACT in line with other states such as Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.

Approximately 30 Icon Water and ACT Government dams will initially be regulated in accordance with the Code.

The ACT Dam Safety Code 2018 includes a transition period of up to 5 years in order to enable dam owners to establish dam safety management and surveillance practices which are compliant with ANCOLD Guidelines for their existing dams. Extensive consultation occurred with the dam owners in the development of the Code, This will mean that work towards compliance will commence immediately following approval of the Code.

“It makes sense to set up the systems to manage the risks presented by dam ownership. In this way we are protecting our homes, environment, economy and even lives,” Mr Ponton said.

- Statement ends -

Section: ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate | Media Releases

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