SAFETY FIRST: Sunwater chairman Leith Boully says the organisation’s top priority is to protect downstream communities. Photo: John Wilson
SAFETY FIRST: Sunwater chairman Leith Boully says the organisation’s top priority is to protect downstream communities. Photo: John Wilson

Sunwater chairman: Why we must lower Paradise Dam now

Sunwater chairman LEITH BOULLY explains why there can be no delay in lowering the spillway at Paradise Dam.

SUNWATER understands the importance of water security to the Bundaberg region.

It is a foundation of economic growth and provides jobs for the community.

That is why we have sought extensive feedback on the best options for the safety and stability of Paradise Dam.

The technical reports and combined advice of 13 international and national experts support the decision to lower the dam’s wall by 5m.

This must be done as soon as possible in the interests of community safety.

I know there has been debate about extra investigations and holding-off until more studies are done.

There will be further investigations and more information emerging as we do the works, and as Building Queensland examines longer-term options.

But none of this will change the immediate need and advice to lower the spillway by five metres to ensure the safety of Bundaberg.

Under normal and current forecast weather conditions, the dam is safe.

But if we were to experience another large flood event as in 2013, the dam may fail.

Detailed investigations and expert advice have made this clear.

And that is why Sunwater must act.

Sunwater chairman Leith Boully.
Sunwater chairman Leith Boully.

We will start work at Paradise early in the dry season.

We will continue to talk with councils, irrigators and the community about the issues related to the dam.

We welcome anyone with questions to contact us directly on 3120 0270 or community@sunwater.com.au.

With the wet season now upon us, we would also encourage the Bundaberg community to keep informed about local conditions.

They can do this by monitoring Bundaberg Regional Council’s Disaster Dashboard or following the council’s Facebook page for updates.

Additionally, they can follow Sunwater’s social media channels, download our App, or monitor forecasts and river levels at the Bureau of Meteorology website.

Sunwater recognises the decision to lower the Paradise Dam wall has caused concerns for people, however, as we have said consistently, our first priority is to protect downstream communities.