Opposition leader Deb Frecklington and Burnett MP Stephen Bennett visited Paradise Dam last September shortly after the State Government announced it would lower the spillway. Picture: Supplied.
Opposition leader Deb Frecklington and Burnett MP Stephen Bennett visited Paradise Dam last September shortly after the State Government announced it would lower the spillway. Picture: Supplied.

Frecklington’s commitment to further dam tests

STATE opposition leader Deb Frecklington has made an election commitment to develop the possibilities of additional water storage options on the Burnett River.

Ms Frecklington explained her plans for water security for the region and for the repair of Paradise Dam, in a letter addressed to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday.

But the Premier's office did not respond to questions or confirm that she has yet received this letter, which had been supplied to the NewsMail.

The letter was signed by five sitting LNP members including Ms Frecklington, and it asked that United States dam expert Paul Rizzo be allowed to complete testing at the dam.

Dr Rizzo has consulted with Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers to strengthen its case of objecting to lowering of the dam's spillway.

Callide MP Colin Boyce signed the letter, as did Burnett MP Stephen Bennett, Bundaberg MP David Batt, as did the opposition's spokesman for natural resources, Dale Last.

They also endorsed water supplier Sunwater help Dr Rizzo design the stabilisers for the dam.

Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers managing director Bree Grima with Dr Paul Rizzo. Picture: Supplied.
Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers managing director Bree Grima with Dr Paul Rizzo. Picture: Supplied.

 

Ms Frecklington urged for the Premier to release the findings from an independent Commission of Inquiry, which investigated the faults in Paradise Dam's construction.

The independent commission announced late last year had less than five months to investigate the dam's structure, and to report its findings to the Premier, and Resources Minister Anthony Lynham late last month.

"The current delays in releasing the findings is causing considerable worry and frustration across the Wide Bay-Burnett region," Ms Frecklington said.

"Works to demolish sections of Paradise Dam are set to begin any day now and the people of Wide Bay have urgent concerns.

"Queenslanders, particularly those within the Wide Bay-Burnett region, deserve to know what information is contained in the Commission of Inquiry and who is responsible for this mess."

Dr Lynham said the government was considering the inquiry's report and completing its response.

"The report will be released publicly with the government response once finalised," Dr Lynham said.

He said the government was committed to Bundaberg's safety.

At the same time it would "underpin economic prosperity" in the region.

Dr Rizzo spoke at the commission by teleconference, and during an inquiry session in March was asked along with four other witnesses if he thought the dam was stable.

He said further data of the dam was necessary, and that a technique such as block testing should be used. "It's not impractical and not overly expensive," he said at the time.


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