Callide Dam operations won't change until review

SUNWATER chief executive Peter Boettcher says his company's operation of Callide Dam in an emergency won't change until a State Government review is over.

Last month residents slammed the dam's management after water was released as Cyclone Marcia impacted the region, flooding homes and farms.

Speaking to the Observer on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Boettcher said SunWater was open to the idea of changing the operating rules if the independent review findings supported it.

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"With respect to any changes to the future operation of the dam, if the review recommends that the dam is operated differently, and the community supports a different mode of operations, and the government supports that, then we will change the operating rules to deliver that outcome," he said.

"We expect that an independent, qualified hydrologist who understands dams and catchments will look at all aspects of the operations of the dam and of the flood event throughout the valley.

"We look forward to a transparent process that gives the local community an opportunity to have their say and to learn more about how the dam operates.

"We have provided a considerable amount of information for the review already, and believe that this review will provide the best opportunity for questions from the community to be examined."

More than 50 people turned out to a community meeting with class action lawyers last night in Biloela to discuss whether to make a claim against Callide Dam operators SunWater.

Maddens Lawyers principal Brendan Pendergast said he believed the management of the dam in the lead up to Cyclone Marcia had worsened the effect of the flood on Callide Valley residents.

"You don't have to be a trained dam manager to know if the rain is coming, lower the level in the dam," he said.

"It's not reasonable (for SunWater) to say 'we could have done that but we have some plan in place that says we don't do it'."



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