MAYOR FEARS FOR RESIDENTS: North Burnett mayor Rachel Chambers and Bundaberg mayor Jack Dempsey meet at Paradise Dam. Picture: Contributed
MAYOR FEARS FOR RESIDENTS: North Burnett mayor Rachel Chambers and Bundaberg mayor Jack Dempsey meet at Paradise Dam. Picture: Contributed

‘Loss of life’ possibility for those near Paradise Dam

MAYOR Rachel Chambers has blasted the politics surrounding Paradise Dam, claiming its failure would result in death.

Cr Chambers took to social media to slam reports that show "blatant disregard" to those who live close to the dam wall.

"We are not mucking around, with a dam failure, loss of life is a real possibility to all those who live immediately downstream in the North Burnett," Cr Chambers said.

"As Mayor, I have gone and sat at kitchen tables with these residents, and mapped out where we can find them in the event of a dam failure, if they can get there quick enough."

Cr Chambers states the council has spent months planning with Sunwater and emergency management groups to preserve life in the region if the dam was to fail.

"I'm sick and tired of all the politics around the dam issue. I can assure you that any dam owner given the information received back in September would have taken action to reduce risk," she said.

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"There may be various ways, means, reports, and budgets to do this but it is the dam owners prerogative to make the decision, as they are the ones who would be hunted down and put in jail if things go wrong.

"I would hazard a guess that no one would like to be in their shoes right now, what if they get this wrong?"

As Mayor, Cr Chambers stressed the importance of the lives of her residents, saying she wants the dam to sit within safe parameters.

She went onto to say they've worked for years to maintain water security for the region, as it is a key economic driver for the North Burnett.

Plain and simple, Cr Chambers wants to know what the dam plan is after it becomes safe.

"Stop playing politics with my people," Cr Chambers said.

"Our lives, our livelihoods, our water."

The Commission of Inquiry released their 563-page report on May 21, detailing the inadequacies found in the dam's structure.

Resources Minister Anthony Lynham said the inquiry's findings showed the dam's spillway apron was "completely inadequate" because it was not wide enough, and that Sun Water's decisions to lower the spillway by 5.8m was reasonable.

Queensland fruit and vegetable growers have however launched a legal challenge against this, claiming the reduced capacity will endanger water security.



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