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At last! A dam plan that will restrict flood effect

MITIGATION PROPOSAL: State Government plans to expand Wivenhoe Dam have been welcomed by Mayor Paul Pisasale.
MITIGATION PROPOSAL: State Government plans to expand Wivenhoe Dam have been welcomed by Mayor Paul Pisasale. Rob Williams

FINALLY, somebody gives a damn.

The Queensland Government's plan to increase the size of Wivenhoe Dam and build three dams in the Ipswich region has been welcomed by Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale.

The planned dams at the Bremer River (near Mt Walker), Tenterhill Creek (near Gatton) and Lockyer Creek (near Murphy's Creek) are three of eight dams in the pipeline. The flood mitigation measures will lessen the impact of future floods and Cr Pisasale said the infrastructure was much needed and long overdue.

"It is fantastic that someone has finally started to think about the anguish that people go through in every flood," he said.

"No one has ever given a damn, but finally someone is giving a damn. I am sick of rescuing people, when we can be building infrastructure.

"This is the first concrete suggestion I have seen for a dam on the Bremer River.

"We get impacted mainly by the water coming down the Bremer and the backflow from the Brisbane (River)."|

Cr Pisasale said he was unsure how the dams would be funded, but said all levels of government needed to work together.

"We can't afford to not fund it," he said. "The anguish on people's faces during the floods of 2011 is entrenched on my mind forever...when you see families who have lost everything and kids with their possessions on the footpath and they can't understand.

"We built Wivenhoe after 1974 but with urban encroachment there are a lot more people affected by floods.

"We will never 100% flood proof Ipswich but we can eliminate the massive destruction we witnessed in 2011. We never should have had that tsunami come through our city."

Cr Pisasale said the measures proposed by the State Government, which included upgrading Wivenhoe and Somerset dams over the next 10 years, were the best he had seen.

"Alternatives looked at in the past include a levee but the topography of Ipswich makes it impossible to go down the levee path," he said.

"Another major benefit of the proposed dam near Mt Walker would be a reduction in insurance premiums for many properties currently at risk of flooding."

Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said he had been "lobbying government for many years about not only the construction of dams, but also returning water back to the aquifer like they do in South Australia".

"We've got a big tank underground and we should be using it," he said.

"Government has neglected these ideas for too long and we've missed some golden opportunities.

"We could never have enough water for the agricultural sector here in the Lockyer Valley."

Topics:  2011 floods flood mitigation wivenhoe dam



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