Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington

April 14, 2020

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has called for an immediate halt to the lowering of the Paradise Dam wall, saying expert advice has shown the dam could be fixed at a reasonable cost.

“It makes no sense for the Labor Government to spend a $100 million to lower the Paradise Dam wall when we have independent experts saying it can be fixed for $25 million,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“Labor must stop pulling down this dam today until all options to fix Paradise Dam are fully explored.

“Independent expert Dr Paul Rizzo’s report makes it clear that Paradise Dam can be fixed at a reasonable cost and that the dam is highly unlikely to experience failure.

“Jobs and economic survival are on the line.

“We know that water creates jobs. Jobs and job security are needed now more than ever – this is about securing the economic future of this region and ensuring we can be more self-reliant with our food supply.

“An LNP government would also investigate and progress more upstream water storage options. The only way to deliver more water security are more dams. It’s not a question of one project over another.”

Mrs Frecklington an LNP Government would:

  • Implement the testing regime recommend by Dr Rizzo
  • Direct Sunwater to work with Dr Rizzo on the design of the stabilisers, recognising the expert experience Dr Rizzo has in stabilising the Bagnell Dam in Missouri USA, which impounds Lake of the Ozarks, the largest man-made lake in the United States
  • Expand the Commission of Inquiry in the construction of the dam to investigate missing documents, design issues and the apron fault

Dr Rizzo’s report concludes that Paradise Dam is in a distressed state “but is highly unlikely to experience a catastrophic failure resulting in the loss of life”.

“The distressed state can be remediated at a reasonable cost as accomplished at other dams around the world, without negative consequences or extreme actions.”

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said the LNP was calling on essential works to be paused until all options were investigated.

“Yes, safety must come first but Labor is moving forward with a plan to lower the dam and the government’s own $6 million Commission of Inquiry hasn’t even reported back yet,” Mr Bennett said.

“Labor is treating the people of Wide Bay with complete contempt, as they have done throughout the whole Paradise Dam saga. ”

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