Bundaberg mayor Jack Dempsey recently visited Paradise Dam. Picture: Supplied.
Bundaberg mayor Jack Dempsey recently visited Paradise Dam. Picture: Supplied.

Paradise Dam Debacle: Mayor’s push for public petition

BUNDABERG Mayor Jack Dempsey will be calling on councillors to support his proposed parliamentary petition into the release of Paradise Dam's technical reports.

Cr Dempsey revealed his intentions ahead of today's full council meeting to move a significant motion.

If Cr Dempsey's motion is supported by the majority of the 10 councillors, the petition will be available on the Queensland Parliament's website this week for residents to sign.

His motion is broken into two parts directed at the state government and the dam's owner, Sunwater.

The first part of the motion urges them to release the technical reports to the public which relate to the dam's structural integrity, so that the community understands the decision making and the risk to public safety.

The second part urges Sunwater to replace the water which is being lost from the Burnett River to ensure long-term water security, to give investors confidence, and so that Bundaberg keeps its title as a food bowl.

Cr Dempsey said that the government's decision to reduce the spillway and release water in preparation for construction was a shock to irrigators and the general community.

Public safety was of "paramount importance" and professional engineering advice had to be listened to, but the community had to understand the situation, he said.

"With a state election to be held on October 31, 2020, I call on the government and the opposition to guarantee they will do whatever it takes to reinstate the water that's been lost from Paradise Dam and to ensure long-term water security in the Bundaberg region," Cr Dempsey said.

"The community has a right to know how and why they're at risk and what options there are to repair the damage.

"Paradise Dam was built to droughtproof the Bundaberg region and to provide confidence in future investment.

"The water that's being removed from Paradise Dam must be reinstated to provide the water security we were promised."

Cr Dempsey's motion comes as the media campaigns nationally for governments to increase their transparency. Yesterday the NewsMail urged for accountability into the dam's problematic history.



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