Answers wanted on dam repairs
WATER Supply Minister Mark McArdle is calling for answers on why repairs costing almost $24 million are needed on Paradise Dam, which was only completed in 2005.
Stage one of repairs are almost complete at a cost of $6 million, and stage two is expected to cost about $17.7 million.
Mr McArdle said large sections of the concrete dissipater below the dam wall had been smashed or otherwise damaged during the January floods and needed urgent repairs.
"When I was advised by the Dam Safety Regulator of damage to the dissipater I immediately took steps to ensure the repairs were a priority," Mr McArdle said.
"These included daily reports to my office from the dam operators, SunWater, to ensure repairs did not get delayed."
The dissipater is a vital part of the dam as it helps to reduce the energy of water coming over the top into the river below.
The damage from the January 2013 floods also undermined large segments of the dissipater, potentially creating a dam safety issue, he said.
Mr McArdle said he had asked for a number of reports as a result of the damage to Paradise Dam to determine how such serious damage could have occurred to a dam that was completed only in December 2005.
"The amount of serious damage to Paradise Dam from the January 2013 flooding needs to be investigated to give the public confidence that these matters are reviewed in an open and transparent way," he said.
"The images of the major construction underway to repair the dam give some idea of the scale of the damage which needs to be explained."
On March 18, Bundaberg Mayor Mal Forman and Premier Campbell Newman reassured the public that the dam was structually sound.
Cr Forman said at the time that the important part was to make sure that everybody was put at ease as he understood people were concerned.
To complete the repair work, SunWater will continue to undertake intermittent releases to ensure the level of the dam remains three metres below full-supply level.