Queensland Minister for Natural Resources Anthony Lynham, who has announced there will be an inquiry into local disaster management. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Queensland Minister for Natural Resources Anthony Lynham, who has announced there will be an inquiry into local disaster management. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Review to be made on dam spillway impact

THERE will be an independent review into the impact that Paradise Dam's lowered spillway will have on disaster management.

Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon, adding that the inquiry will be held next month.

"We need to ensure that downstream residents are protected if there was a repeat of that 2013 event, and that's what this review will look at," Dr Lynham said.

"Disaster management is about continuous improvement.

"Every time Queensland is faced with a disaster, we learn something invaluable from the experience, and we apply that to future preventive actions and responses."

Meanwhile, the opposition leader, Deb Frecklington, and the Bundaberg Regional Council, were seeking the technical reports which have led to the recommendation to reduce the dam's spillway.

On Friday at midday, farmers will be able to tap into 80,000ML of water, although would have to first contact Sunwater in order to do so.

A community reference group involving the distribution will be set up and is expected to meet within a fortnight.

Childers sugarcane grower Mark Mammino said he had been offered a position in the group by Sunwater chairwoman Leith Boully, while local Canegrowers members met with the government owned entity.

Mr Mammino said it was unlikely the group could set policy or make recommendations to the state government, but that irrigators would have a voice.

"If the dam needs to be permanently lowered, I don't know what level, but if it has to be, we can use that group to put pressure on the government to look at raising some of the existing weir structures … to find some ways to at least set some increase of water storage back in our system," he said.

But the first priority had to be the safety of communities below the dam.

Queensland Farmers' Federation vice-president Allan Dingle said the meeting with Sunwater "progressed really well" but that attendees were upset that they had not been consulted before the decision to reduce the spillway was made. "If consultation was done there could have been more of a better use of water … some of that water could run out to sea," he said.



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