LNP backs parliamentary inquiry into Paradise Dam

The LNP is demanding a public parliamentary inquiry is held into the design and construction of the Paradise Dam.

The dam opened in 2006 at a cost of $200m – but just 13 years later the Palaszczuk Labor Government has announced plans to reduce its capacity to 42 per cent.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said Queensland taxpayers and the Wide Bay community deserved to know if the dam had been properly designed and built and what can be done to remedy the situation.

“There are serious questions over Paradise Dam and Labor must provide the answers,” Ms Frecklington said.

“It is extraordinary that a modern dam cannot last more than 13 years.

“Farmers and businesses in Wide Bay have made major investments based on the water security that the dam provides, but that security has now been destroyed.

“The community needs to know if this dam was designed and constructed properly and how Annastacia Palaszczuk plans to fix this expensive mess.”

LNP Member for Bundaberg David Batt said only a parliamentary inquiry would establish the truth.

“A parliamentary inquiry will give people the opportunity to have their say and share their stories with the full protection of parliamentary privilege,” Mr Batt said.

“Queenslanders paid good money for this dam but it seems all they will be left with is a puddle.”

LNP member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said the questions for Labor were piling up.

“Labor is refusing to answer questions about whether insurance covers these construction and design issues,” Mr Bennett said.

“We need to make sure that the people of Wide Bay get the answers they deserve and that this never happens again.”

The LNP is asking affected community members to provide feedback on the its draft terms of reference for the inquiry.

Draft terms of reference:

That the State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Industry Development Committee investigate the Paradise Dam’s design, construction and operation; and the Palaszczuk Government’s decision to lower the dam wall by 5 metres. The Committee should consider:
a. The design of the dam and whether it was appropriate;
b. How the dam was constructed including under a competitive alliance contract, the impact of Walter Construction Group going into receivership halfway through and the use of roller compacted concrete;
c. How the dam has been operated and the impact of a permanent reduction in the capacity of the dam on the regional economy and water security;
d. Why the Palaszczuk Government has decided to lower the dam by 5 metres, releasing 100,000 ML of water in just 10 weeks; and
e. Whether a claim could be made against those who built the dam or under Sunwater’s insurance arrangements.

2. In conducting the hearing, the Committee is asked to:
a. Conduct hearings in the Wide Bay region; and
b. Order those involved in the design and construction of the dam to appear at the Inquiry.

Anyone who wishes to comment on the draft terms of reference should contact the electorate offices of Stephen Bennett (4111 5100) or David Batt (4111 3100).

Tuesday 1 October, 2019

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