An aerial photograph of Paradise Dam, which is the subject of an independent inquiry.
An aerial photograph of Paradise Dam, which is the subject of an independent inquiry.

First hearing held in dam probe

THE first hearing of the independent inquiry into Paradise Dam is expected to take about three hours in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning.

The commission’s chairman John Byrne will begin the hearing with opening remarks on the inquiry and scope, and will be followed by senior counsel member Jonathan Horton.

It is understood that Mr Horton will outline some of the key issues that will be examined throughout the hearings.

A spokeswoman for the commission said it expected a “fair number” of interested parties at the hearings, which would be livestreamed on its website.

A Bundaberg Regional Council spokesman said that it will not send a representative to Brisbane for the preliminary hearing.

“Council intends to make a written submission and will most likely attend the Bundaberg hearings,” the spokesman said. “We hope the inquiry establishes the root cause of structural and stability issues identified in engineering and technical studies conducted on Paradise Dam.”

Burnett MP Stephen Bennett said his electorate office had been receiving calls for months from people who had worked on the dam during its construction.

“Many of these people advised they witnessed questionable work at the dam, so I’m asking them to please attend the hearings to share their information,” Mr Bennett said.

Bundaberg MP David Batt expected the preliminary hearing to be an introduction, but that he looked forward to learning how the Commission of Inquiry will run. He would attend the Bundaberg hearing on March 3-6.



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