Class action lodged over Callide Dam 'inland tsunami'

SUNWATER created an "inland tsunami" and was "grossly negligent" for the destruction of property and possessions from the floods in the Callide Valley following Cyclone Marcia, according to engineer Ken Pearce.

Mr Pearce has worked with dams and water management since 1973 and said operators should have been standing at their post operating the gates before the water reached its peak.

The cyclone raised the dam's water level to a point where the dam gates were automatically triggered and released 1.8 Olympic-sized swimming pools into the Callide Valley per second.

Mr Pearce said the operators had a duty of care for the people of the Callide Valley.

"They weren't standing by their posts because of the cyclone. That's not good enough," he said.

"If the operators are at risk standing at their post ready to operate the gates, it is a flaw in the design."

In his opinion it was fundamentally neglect on SunWater's behalf for operating the dam in a way where it was unsafe to open the gates manually in a weather event.

Victorian law firm Madden's Lawyers also believes SunWater was negligent and on Wednesday filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of the victims.

Principal lawyer Brendan Pendergast said inquiries led lawyers to conclude the damage caused by the uncontrolled release could have been avoided.

"We know SunWater was aware of the pending weather conditions in the lead-up to February 20 and that the Callide Dam was already close to capacity," he said.

"We'll be convening periodic community meetings in the Biloela and Jambin regions to provide local residents with up to date advice and information."

Jambin resident Glen Livingstone said he wanted to join the class action against SunWater but had not been asked.

"I received a letter from Madden's Lawyers telling me it would wait for the independent report to be released," he said.

The report was scheduled to be released last Friday but has been postponed until June 5.

"The law suit was filed on the day the report was rescheduled so the lawyers must have some good evidence," Mr Livingstone said.

He said he wanted compensation for the equipment he lost.

"Something back would be great. I'd also like a bit of rain at the moment," he said.

Topics:  callide dam cyclone marcia editors picks gladstone sunwater

Hairdresser heartbreak: Emotional toll of a Gladstone salon

Jes Morison

'WHAT HAPPENS in the salon stays in the salon.'

Local wants town out of the Gladstone region

Tony Bridges wants to see Baffle Creek break away from Gladstone to join the Bundaberg region.

50 signatures needed to shift Baffle to Bundy.

PHOTOS: Husband's 'blokey' gear up for grabs in Gladstone

UP FOR GRABS: Muldoon's big garage sale bonanza.

COUPLE selling 'thousands' of items to Gladstone bargain hunters.

Local Partners

Artist unveils her island home

JEAN Kane's backyard has a unique and elusive history; but next week she's prepared to unveil it to travellers from across the country and world.

Your chance to win

Learn More

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

WHAT'S ON: Fashion show, family events and live entertainment

Runway 7 Model and Talent Agency Roche Bailey.

Everything you need to know about what you can do in the region.

Bruce Springsteen finds therapy useful

Singer Bruce Springsteen

Singer encourages others to seek help

Former Split Enz front man Tim Finn finds new niche

Singer Tim Finn has written the music for theatre production Ladies in Black.

Musician finds his way to theatre

Kerry Washington wants one more child

Kerry Washington recently gave birth to her second child

Kerry has only just become a new mum again

TRAVEL: Musicals light up Sydney

David Campbell performs in Dream Lover.

We take a trip through one of Sydney's finer scenes

Wine and dine your way around Brisbane this summer

Brisbane has the best places to wine and dine.

NINE of the best places to wine and dine.

In Flames are super 'proud' of new album

In Flames album to be released in November.  Photo Contributed

In Flames to release new album in November

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

Push to sell homes that flooded Gladstone's market

Suburban housing in Glenvale, Toowoomba, Friday, October 17, 2014. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle

URGENT push to cash-up first home buyers investing in Gladstone.

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track