LINE UP: Speakers at upcoming class action community meeting
The Queens Counsel assisting the Paradise Dam Class Action, Douglas Campbell, will be in Bundaberg on Friday for a public meeting with affected growers and small business owners.
Local agribusiness lawyer, Tom Marland, announced last month that growers in the Bundaberg region have engaged his legal team to launch a class action against the Queensland State Government over the mismanagement of Paradise Dam.
Built in 2005 to store water for irrigation and urban, Paradise Dam was not built as a means of flood mitigation.
Having sustained some damaged in the 2013 floods, there have been concerns regarding the safety of the dam since late-last year which prompted the 5.8m reduction of the spillway and a Commission of Inquiry.
Despite efforts by local farmers, the Essential Works to lower the dam began in May.
Mr Campbell QC has handled several high-profile class actions and is considered to be one of the most experienced class action barristers in Australia.
Disappointed by the handling of this matter, Mr Campbell QC believes "there is a case to answer".
"The community of Bundaberg deserve the opportunity to hold the Government to account for the decision to lower the wall of Paradise Dam," he said.
"The Government has discussed safety matters surrounding the dam but refuses to engage in the very real issue of long term water security, economic prosperity and jobs for this region.
"I really feel for the people of Bundaberg.
"They're now facing major uncertainty regarding the region's main wealth generating asset and it really doesn't bode well for the future local economy."
Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce President, Mr Tim Sayre, will also be speaking at the meeting and is concerned for the future flow on impact to local businesses in Bundaberg if Paradise Dam continues to be lowered.
"If Paradise Dam is permanently lowered, we have real concerns regarding our region's economy, and know it will be our businesses community that will bear the brunt of any economic downturn" Mr Sayre said.
"This is an issue that impacts our entire community and we stand with farmers, holding the Government to account over their decision to lower Paradise Dam" said Mr Sayre.
"Regional communities like ours need all the support they can get right now, we certainly don't need Government decisions which stifle the growth of the region's economy and job market."
The public meeting will be held at 2pm on Friday at the Brothers Club.
All community members are welcome to attend.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.