Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hinze Dam, Advancetown

Water is such a fickle commodity. We had a prolonged drought during which water had to be rationed, then we had a glut of rain that swamped Queensland, causing massive flooding all over the state. Some homes were flooded, flooded again, then flooded a third time for good measure. It seems that anything to do with water has been jinxed.

During the drought the state government was accused of not doing enough, then when they tried to build a dam at Traveston, north of Brisbane, the proposal was vilified by the locals and then v
etoed by the Feds. A dam that has just been completed has not been connected to the water grid because it would be too expensive to do so! We built an expensive water desalinator that is presently in mothballs because we have since been inundated. There was talk of recycling sewerage - not a popular move in some quarters, but necessity can make the most unpalatable truth palatable.

The Hinze Dam was built in 1976 to supply water to the burgeoning Gold Coast region. It was named after the family of one of Queensland's most colourful politicians, Russell Hinze, the Minister for Everything in the Bjelke-Petersen government. Like Big Russ's belt, the dam has increased in size over the years - it was enlarged in 1989 and is being super-sized currently. The dam wall is being raised 15 metres, and that will double the capacity of the dam. Here are a couple of photos.
(Photos: SEQWater)

If the world ever forgets about squabbling over oil, we could have wars about water instead. I can remember several militant letters to the newspaper that questioned why we were sending "our" water from Brisbane down to the Hinze Dam when its level fell below 30%. Similarly, citizens of Gold Coast were up in arms when it was proposed to let water run uphill to Brisbane's dams when they were in poor shape. If global warming results in the widespread loss of water resources, then I predict all sorts of apocalyptic outcomes.

Click here for a Google Map.



  1. I love that area. My grandmother (and on occasions, my dad) grew up there. I think you will find that the dam was actually named after the elder Hinzes (grandparents to Russ I think) whose land the dam was partially built on. I can't remember their names but my grandmother told me once that they were lovely people. I will have to see if I can dig out some old books on the area to check.

  2. From 'Numinbah Valley: A Social and Natural History 1840s-1988' page 173: 'the premier of the day, Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen, opened the dam in June 1977, paying tribute to the pioneering family of...Russ Hinze'. Hopes this helps. I think that Russ' infamy has over-shadowed this fact.

  3. Thanks for the information on the naming of the dam.

    Did you see the post on the Hinde family and the macadamia industry?

  4. Thanks for pointing me to your previous post. I hadn't seen it and have no idea how I missed it! I am passing the link on to all my family members! :) (have also left a comment there for you!)


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