Councils discuss Paradise Dam concerns

0
Paradise Dam
North Burnett Mayor Rachel Chambers and Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey at Paradise Dam.

Councillors from North Burnett and Bundaberg Region met at Paradise Dam on Thursday to discuss concerns about public safety and water security.

This follows the State Government's decision to reduce the dam’s water storage level to 42 per cent for safety reasons.

Repair work is expected to start on the dam wall in May 2020.

Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said public safety is paramount, but he's concerned the Government and Sunwater have made no commitment to restore water that's lost from the system.

“That water is critical for our future economic growth and long-term water security,” he said.

Mayor Dempsey has called for technical reports to be released so people can understand why such drastic action was taken.

North Burnett Mayor Rachel Chambers said the two councils were united in wanting a guarantee of reliable water storage.

“Both councils will be strongly advocating for water security to ensure our successful future,” she said.

Jason Bartels, Paradise Dam
Bundaberg Regional Council's water services portfolio spokesman Jason Bartels at Paradise Dam.

Free Paradise Dam water for farmers

Meanwhile, Isis and Bundaberg area farmers can now access the free water being released from Paradise Dam.

Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham said Sunwater was releasing about 100 megalitres of water into four watercourses not normally supplied by the dam.

“The decision last month to release water from Paradise Dam was not taken lightly with so much of the state in drought,” Dr Lynham said.

“However, safety is always our priority.

“The Government, through Sunwater, is seeking to maximise the productive use of the water that has to be released, which is why it is free.

“Now irrigators with water access rights already on Elliot River, Mahogany Creek, the Gregory River, and Logging Creek will also have access to free water from the dam.”

Sunwater is starting the release at around 100 megalitres per day across the four streams.

Dr Lynham said more water may be available, depending on demand from irrigators.

The storage level of Paradise Dam near Bundaberg is being reduced ahead of the 2019-20 wet season for works to improve the dam’s stability during extreme rain events.

To access water contact the Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy Bundaberg office on 13 74 68 or email [email protected]  

Others wanting to access water from Paradise Dam should contact Sunwater on 131 589 or [email protected].