26 September 2023

Inquiry to probe dam concerns

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Minister for National Resources, Anthony Lynham says an independent inquiry will be held into the structural and stability issues of Paradise Dam, with a new report revealing the dam is now safe but still has the potential for failure.

A former Supreme Court judge, John Byrne will head the inquiry. Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Newcastle, John Carter will provide technical advice.

Mr Lynham said the inquiry would take public submissions.

He said the technical report confirmed potential stability issues with the dam in the event of an extreme weather event like the 2013 cyclone and flood.

“The reports confirm that the dam is safe now. However, they do confirm potential risk of major flooding if there is another an extreme weather event like 2013 and this is why Sunwater made the decision to release water and lower Paradise Dam’s spillway by five metres,” Mr Lynham said.

“Sunwater has worked with the Bundaberg and North Burnett Regional Council, police and other agencies in the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) to ensure that emergency plans are in place to protect the community.”

He said the LDMG would have more notice and the community would be well-prepared if an extreme weather event like 2013 happened again.

“Sunwater’s advice is that reducing the volume of water in the dam reduces pressure on the dam wall and creates additional time for the dam to fill in an extreme weather event, and therefore extra time for any evacuations.”

The Paradise Dam technical report is available at this PS News link.

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