Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey explains in a media conference the need to have a parliamentary petition regarding Paradise Dam.
Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey explains in a media conference the need to have a parliamentary petition regarding Paradise Dam.

Mayor’s plea for regional Australia to send clear message

BUNDABERG Mayor Jack Dempsey has called out to all regional Australians to sign his petition and to send a clear message to politicians about the importance of water security.

The petition urges the Queensland Government to replace the faulty Paradise Dam wall, guaranteeing future water security by doing so, and to release the technical report behind what he describes as “one of the largest infrastructure failures.”

“If we get the power of the people behind this petition then they are going to have to listen,” Cr Dempsey said.

“If you’re a regional centre anywhere across Queensland, and even New South Wales, and you understand that water is our lifeblood, I just implore you to support the Bundaberg region.

“Sign the petition and send a clear message.

“Whatever your political party is, this dam wall needs replacing and we need water security.”

MORE REPAIRS: Jack Dempsey (left) at Paradise Dam when he was the Member for Bundaberg and the structure needed repairs after the 2013 flood.
MORE REPAIRS: Jack Dempsey (left) at Paradise Dam when he was the Member for Bundaberg and the structure needed repairs after the 2013 flood.

Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham said the GHD technical report was not released to the public because the experts who advised him needed time to provide analysis and advice.

He said the review being made by the Inspector-General of Emergency Management and Building Queensland will look at this report as well as all Sunwater information.

There would be further peer review of this from an independent expert from the United States.

“The situation requires action for public safety and the people of Bundaberg and the Burnett want answers as soon as possible and our review will deliver that.

“Sunwater has been briefing the local community, conducting information sessions and a community reference group is being assembled with an independent chair.”

PLEASE WAIT: Energy Minister Anthony Lynham says the experts need more time before releasing their report on Paradise Dam.
PLEASE WAIT: Energy Minister Anthony Lynham says the experts need more time before releasing their report on Paradise Dam.

Cr Dempsey said he could not assume before the open meeting that his motion would be backed by the other 10 councillors.

“It’s like any motion that’s put before council, and any councillor has their right to vote,” he said.

“You don’t want to pre-empt to any persons’ voting.”

Councillors Bill Trevor and Wayne Honor declared potential conflict of interests given that they receive water allocations from dam owner Sunwater.

Other councillors decided that neither Cr Trevor or Cr Honor had conflicts of interest, and could vote on Cr Dempsey’s motion.

The petition is lodged and has appeared on the Queensland Parliament website, but there will also be paper copies available to sign at the Bundaberg Regional Council’s office.