Local politicians fuming over dam size reduction
LOCAL LNP politicians have angrily reacted against the state government's decision to lower Paradise Dam's spillway and to give away the excess water.
For Burnett State MP Stephen Bennett, the dam's five metre reduction made no sense at a time when the region was drought declared.
He said the state government was reducing the dam size due to safety requirements which was protecting the area from rare flooding that would occur once every 15,000 years.
"What does that mean? It just means they'll never build a dam in Queensland," Mr Bennett said.
"2013 was a bad flood but that should have been the benchmark."
Mr Bennett said that even though the dam was at 75 per cent, which indicated little usage, it was about water supply for future markets.
"100,000 Megalitres have never been allocated," he said.
"The dam was built for water security.
"How do we sell that (reduction) to an emerging macadamia industry?
"Even current orchards are all on the assumption that there is water security, and this announcement today puts that all at risk."
Paradise Dam's construction was completed in 2005, and is understood to be the last built in Australia.
The state government's decision comes at a time when the National Party pushes harder for increased construction of dams.
For Federal Hinkler MP Keith Pitt, it was a terrible time for the state government to decide to lower the spillway.
"This is the thing, there couldn't possibly be a worse time to take away water from our producers than in the middle of a drought," he said.
"It is very difficult to have a viable property if you don't have a reliable supply of water.
"It is one of the first things that not only a bank or an investor might look at, but if we want our region to grow we have to have available water."
Mr Pitt said that if the state government could afford to spend $250 million on Brisbane based bureaucrats through the $1250 public sector bonus scheme, then it could find the money to repair.
As for the need to lower the dam due to safety concerns, the state government had waited almost seven years since the last major flood.
"So where have they been? The flood was 2013," Mr Pitt said.
"If that was the concern, well, it should have been fixed and it can still be fixed."