Tuesday 14 April, 2020
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington today called for the immediate halt of the ripping down of the Paradise Dam wall after expert advice showed the dam can 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,” Ms 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.
“The LNP will work with experts such as Dr Paul Rizzo to fix Paradise Dam.
“An LNP Government I lead 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 USA.
- Expand the Commission of Inquiry in the construction of the dam to investigate – missing documents, design issues and the apron fault.
“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.”
LNP Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said the LNP is calling on essential works to be paused until all options are investigated.
“Yes safety must come first but Labor are 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.
“The decision to pull down the dam will have huge repercussions for jobs and locals deserve the truth.
“Labor is more interested in protecting itself than protecting the community and jobs.”
Member for Bundaberg David Batt said the people of Wide Bay deserve water security and that’s what they will get from the LNP.
“It’s unacceptable that Labor only has a plan to tear down the dam and no plan to fix it,” Mr Batt said.
“Labor’s handling of Paradise Dam has been a kick in the guts for our economy.”
Member for Callide Colin Boyce said the Palaszczuk Labor Government is anti-regions, anti-dams and anti-jobs.
“Only the LNP has a plan for the future to deliver water security for Queensland,” Mr Boyce said.
“Fixing Paradise Dam and exploring all options both downstream and upstream are priorities for the LNP.
“Water provides life, if you have water you have jobs, it’s that simple.
“For food and job security we need to build more dams and weirs.”
Background for media:
* Key quotes from Dr Paul Rizzo’s Assessment Of Dam Safety Issues Paradise Dam: ‘Paradise Dam is in a distressed state, but is highly unlikely to experience a catastrophic failure’. Dr Rizzo’s report also concludes that the Dam ‘can be remediated at a reasonable cost as accomplished at other dams around the world, without negative consequences or extreme actions’. He also concluded that ‘the test data available for assessing the properties of the as-constructed RCC are inadequate’
- Link to Dr Rizzo’s assessment of Dam Safety Issues Paradise Dam: https://paradisedaminquiry.qld.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Assessment-of-Dam-Safety-Issues-Report-Fully-Executed.pdf
- A report on the cost of inaction on the Dam, following the capacity lowering to 42% is $2.4 billion over the next 30 years. (That’s the cost of a permanent lowering of 5 metres) – https://www.bundabergnow.com/2020/02/24/2-4-billion-cost-to-economy-if-paradise-dam-not-fixed/
- The Commission of Inquiry only goes back to 30 January 2013 – not when the dam was built by Labor in 2005/6.