Par­adise: Why so dam ex­pen­sive?

Dam­age re­pair bill blows out

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Erica Mur­ree erica.mur­ree@cnbtimes.com.au

 AS THE first stage of the emer­gency re­me­dial works to Par­adise Dam are com­pleted, ques­tions are be­ing asked as to why it is cost­ing mil­lions.

Fol­low­ing the se­vere flood­ing on Aus­tralia Day, Sunwater iden­ti­fied sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to the spill­way en­ergy dis­si­pa­ter and the rock down­stream of the dam.

Sunwater chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Peter Boettcher said the aim of stage one was to treat any scour risks on the dis­si­pa­ter and the rock foun­da­tion up to 20m down­stream of the dis­si­pa­ter.

“This dis­tance has been as­sessed as suf­fi­cient to deal with the most sig­nif­i­cant fea­tures in the good­night bedrock for­ma­tion to pro­vide as­sur­ance that the dam will with­stand an­other flood event.” he said.

“Sunwater will now start the next stage to re­in­state the dis­si­pa­ter sill wall and mit­i­gate any im­me­di­ate safety is­sues, with com­pleted ex­pected in late 2013.”

Stage one cost $6 mil­lion while stage two is ex­pected to cost about $17.7 mil­lion.

Mr Boettcher said Sunwater would con­tinue to take pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures and un­der­take in­ter­mit­tent re­leases to en­sure the level of the dam re­mained 3m be­low full sup­ply level.

“Once stage two is com­plete, the third and fi­nal stage will in­volve a com­pre­hen­sive dam safety re­view and in­ves­ti­ga­tions into whether ad­di­tional works are re­quired to en­sure the dam fully sat­is­fies dam safety reg­u­la­tions,” he said.

Min­is­ter for En­ergy and Wa­ter Sup­ply Mark McAr­dle wants an­swers as to why re­pairs for stages one and two would amount to al­most $24 mil­lion.

“I have asked for a num­ber of re­ports to de­ter­mine how such se­ri­ous dam­age could have oc­curred to a dam that was only com­pleted in De­cem­ber 2005,” he said.

“The amount of se­ri­ous dam­age needs to be in­ves­ti­gated to give the pub­lic con­fi­dence that th­ese mat­ters are re­viewed in an open and trans­par­ent way.

“The im­ages of the ma­jor con­struc­tion un­der­way gives some idea of the scale of the dam­age, which needs to be ex­plained.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

DAM­AGE BE­LOW WALL: Sunwater have com­pleted stage one of re­me­dial works at Par­adise Dam fol­low­ing the Aus­tralia Day floods.

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