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Bjelke-Petersen Dam
Parasailing on Lake Barambah impounded by the Bjelke-Petersen Dam, 2014.jpg
Parasailing on Lake Barambah, 2014
Bjelke-Petersen Dam is located in Queensland
Bjelke-Petersen Dam
Bjelke-Petersen Dam
Location in Queensland
Location 10 km (6.2 mi) east of Wondai, Queensland
Coordinates 26°18′13″S 151°58′38″E / 26.3036°S 151.9772°E / -26.3036; 151.9772 (Bjelke-Petersen Dam)
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)
Surface elevation 307.3 m (1,008 ft)

The Bjelke-Petersen Dam is a dam in Moffatdale near Cherbourg in the South Burnett Region, Queensland, Australia. The dam impounds Barker Creek and creates Lake Barambah. It is named after the Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen. It is operated by Sunwater.


The dam wall is 540 m (1,770 ft) long and rises 34 m (112 ft). The wall is an earth and rock fill structure with a central clay core, which can hold back 134,900 megalitres (4,760×10^6 cu ft) of water. 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.


Construction of the dam 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 itself was named after the Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen. The dam supplies water to the South Burnett region, mostly for irrigation purposes.

In the 1990s management of the camping and recreational facilities was handed to Murgon Shire Council, which became the South Burnett Regional Council following the local government amalgamations in 2008.

In 2006, drought conditions had reduced dam levels to 5% of total capacity. 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.


Facilities for caravans, cabins, camping and day-trippers are extensive. Under normal conditions there are no boating restrictions, except near the dam wall.

There are two boat ramps into Lake Barambah known as:

  • Bjelke-Petersen Dam (West) (26°18′21″S 151°58′55″E / 26.3059°S 151.9820°E / -26.3059; 151.9820 (Bjelke-Petersen Dam (West) boat ramp))
  • Bjelke-Petersen Dam (East) (26°18′23″S 151°59′34″E / 26.3063°S 151.9928°E / -26.3063; 151.9928 (Bjelke-Petersen Dam (East) boat ramp))

Both are on Haager Drive and are managed by the South Burnett Regional Council.


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

Illegally introduced sleepy cod and red-claw crayfish are maintaining breeding populations. 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.

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