Des Messenger will be raising questions about Paradise Dam at Wallaville Hall on Thursday.
Des Messenger will be raising questions about Paradise Dam at Wallaville Hall on Thursday.

Paradise concern was raised 13 years ago

THE father of a former Burnett MP has a list of questions about Paradise Dam, which he will raise at a community consultation meeting on Thursday.

81-year-old South Kolan man Des Messenger, a retired cane locomotive driver, said there had been rumours circulating about the standard of the struction of the dam while it was being built.

Mr Messenger said there needed to be an investigation, as well as an inquiry led by national media.

In 2006 his son Rob Messenger, who now lives in Tasmania, expressed concerns about the dam’s structural integrity, and of leakages.

He had urged the Blight government to release reports.

“It looks like it comes back to play because they have taken a core sample of the concrete and it’s not up to standard,” Mr Messenger Snr said.

There would be two meetings today, including one in Childers.

Mr Messenger would attend another meeting held at Wallaville Hall, and would express concerns about flood management when the spillway was lowered next year.

“I’ve got it written down, I don’t think I’ll get any answers to half of them,” he said.

“It’s probably the biggest catastrophe to hit dam making in Australia’s history. Have you heard of any other dams being lowered for safety?

“When they say safety it conjures up a lot of images, doesn’t it?

“It’s going to be hanging over your head — I’ll be dead — for the next 50 years, 100 years … you know what I’m talking about, and there’s got to be answers done now.

“And a lot of people in Bundaberg are asking the same questions I’m asking.”

Work on lowering the spillway is scheduled to begin in May, 2020, and engineering jobs have been advertised.

An independent report exexamining emergency management of future flood events at Paradise Dam and in the Burnett River would be completed.

The State Government announced the scope of the investigation on Wednesday.

Building Queensland will assess and report by February which will look at future water security.

Opposition leader Deb Frecklington, Burnett MP Stephen Bennett and Bundaberg MP David Batt are urging for an inquiry.