THE rapid fast-tracked decision of the Queensland State Government to spend $200 million to buy into Virgin Australia to save about 5000 jobs, mainly in the southeast corner of Queensland, is at stark contrast to the Queensland State Government’s arbitrary ill-advised decision to tear down the Paradise Dam spillway by 5 metres, putting 8000-plus farming jobs at risk and having a potential $2.4 billion impact on the Wide Bay community over the next 30 years.
With Sunwater lowering the dam water level to 42 per cent capacity, the evidence clearly shows the risks can now be safely managed until the investigations required can be completed allowing the dam to be fully repaired and restored to its maximum full supply level.
The lack of process by Queensland State Government is highlighted in the Building Queensland report of February 2020 which stated the option to retain the full capacity of the dam was essentially an incomplete solution and that additional work was required.
It is shocking that Queensland State Government has made a major decision with significant economic ramifications based on incomplete information. It is clear the process failed.
To date the incomplete work remains outstanding, and as shown in the recent Rizzo report, retaining the dam’s full supply level is a truly viable option, and it can be done at a likely cost for a similar investment by Queensland State Government towards saving Virgin Australia.
Repairing Paradise Dam as per the Rizzo report recommendations could save 8000-plus jobs.
The actions (or the lack thereof) by the Queensland State Government that affect regional Queensland is increasingly building frustration and animosity towards southeast Queensland and the Queensland State Government.
Stenen Daw, Bundaberg