Engineers say they hope to have the first part of Charleville's new flood defence in south-west Queensland ready by Christmas.
Work began in October to divert Bradley's Gully, which runs through the town.
Charleville has flooded several times in the past two decades and a levee on the Warrego River protected the town from inundation earlier this year.
Project director David Murray says two channels are being built to divert any future floods into the nearby Warrego River.
"We will be finishing the earthworks in February, which is the wettest month of the year," he said.
"Now at this juncture I am still waiting to get a final assessment on that but one thing I can say is the low-flow channel will be in.
"The main levee diversions will be in so we will have major diversion capacity available before Christmas."
He says the project is designed to protect the town from a worst case scenario-type flood.
"Designed this diversion to take what we call a one-in-100-year-flood and the biggest flood on record in Bradley's Gully was in March 2010 and the diversion as it's designed will also cater for that flood," he said.
"If that flood was to occur again it would all pass into the Warrego through the diversion system."
© ABC 2012
17:37 EDT Much of western New South Wales has begun a heat wave, reaching at least five degrees above average for at least five days, averaging a maximum of 35 degrees or more.