Jonathan Horton, QC, is the senior counsel member in the Paradise Dam Commission of Inquiry.
Jonathan Horton, QC, is the senior counsel member in the Paradise Dam Commission of Inquiry.

Inquiry seeking quality of index

QUESTIONS surrounding the proposed “mandate” for value for money could surface in today’s hearings for the Paradise Dam Commission of Inquiry after comments made by Dr Ernest Schrader yesterday.

The morning session of the inquiry saw Dr Schrader, Timothy Dolen and for shorter period GHD’s James Willey questioned in proceedings relating to the dam’s roller compacted concrete construction.

While matters of friction and dam stability and the factor of safety were discussed, concerns regarding the dam’s compression, the reliability of the Lift Joint Quality Index and construction priorities took the spotlight.

Dr Schrader said the index could function as a guideline for inspection.

Mr Dolen said that he was of the belief that it was just a means to create a level of comfort for people and when it comes to input design values “I think it ignores the workability of the mix or the fact that it may not be compacted throughout”.

When questioned by Jonathan Horton, QC, senior counsel assisting, as to whether the LJQI was susceptible to misleading people into thinking that because it was recorded as a number it was more reliable than it was.

Mr Dolen agreed.

But it was Dr Schrader’s response that flagged a potential need for further question by Mr Horton.

“Well, I believe one of the mandates when we were competing for this project from the owner was over and over and over value for money,” Dr Schrader said.

“It wasn’t give us the best, we don’t care what it costs, it was value for money and that’s part of what this does …”

Upon hearing this response, Mr Horton said he might come back to Dr Schrader’s “value for money” proposition in today’s proceedings.

Dr Schrader reiterated several times throughout the session that he was not the designer of Paradise Dam.

Bruce Embery was the witness for the afternoon session yesterday, while today’s hearing will see Dr Schrader on the stand again.

For more information about the inquiry, visit paradisedam inquiry.qld.gov.au



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