Water security vital for future prosperity

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Bundaberg Regional Council last week voted unanimously to support Mayor Jack Dempsey's petition regarding Paradise Dam. Here is the full text of the Mayor's speech:

Jack Dempsey Paradise Dam
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey says Paradise Dam should be reinstated to hold its full capacity.

On 24 September 2019, the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy the Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham announced the wall at Paradise Dam will be reduced by five metres.

The Minister said this will improve the dam’s stability during extreme rain events.

The Minister also announced that a total of 105,000 megalitres will be released over 10 weeks to reduce the dam to 42 per cent of capacity.

This came as a shock to irrigators, other water users and the broader Bundaberg Region community.

Public safety is of paramount importance and professional engineering advice should be followed.

The Government should release this advice to the public, so we fully understand the risk to our homes, the risk to our livelihoods and potentially the risk to our loved ones and ourselves.

No explanation has been provided why the technical reports cannot be released.

The community has a right to know how and why they’re at risk and what options there are to repair the damage.

In addition to public safety, my other serious concern is water security.

Paradise Dam was built to drought-proof the Bundaberg Region and to provide confidence in future investment.

Sunwater should be investing in pipes and infrastructure to make water from Paradise Dam more widely available.

The water that’s being removed from Paradise Dam must be reinstated to provide the water security we were promised.

Water security is vital for the Bundaberg Region’s prosperity, growth, economic development and investment attraction.

The Government should promise to rebuild the dam to its original capacity or greater.

With a State Election to be held on 31 October 2020, I call on the Government and the Opposition to guarantee they will do whatever it takes to reinstate the water that’s been lost from Paradise Dam and to ensure long-term water security in the Bundaberg Region.

Mayor Jack Dempsey explains why Paradise Dam is vital for Bundaberg Region.

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