Premier orders investigation into Lenthalls Dam funding

PREMIER Campbell Newman has ordered an investigation into state funding used to raise Lenthalls Dam.

The investigation was part of Mr Newman's response to flood victims Esther and Donna Allan, who have repeatedly been victims of upstream flooding near the dam.

Donna Allan was stranded on her property in January after upstream flooding was exacerbated by problems with the dam gates, which have malfunctioned repeatedly since they were installed in 2008.

The sisters wrote to the Premier three times in May about Lenthalls Dam, amid an ongoing legal battle with dam owners Wide Bay Water.

In a response dated August 8, Mr Newman ruled out giving a direction to WBW or meeting personally with the sisters for legal reasons.

"While I am aware that Wide Bay Water Corporation (WBWC) is taking action to address this fault, it is disappointing to say the least that it is taking so long to resolve the crest gate engineering faults," Mr Newman said in the letter.

"Dam safety is ultimately the responsibility of the dam owner," he said. "DEWS (Department of Energy and Water Supply) cannot, for legal reasons, direct WBWC to undertake any action on this matter. Unfortunately, nor can I, as Premier, do so."

Mr Newman said the former government contributed 40% of the total cost of Lenthalls Dam to Hervey Bay City Council, including funding to acquire land owned by the Allan's.

He said he had asked Local Government Minister David Crisafulli to investigate why a subsidy payment had been made against the "Allan Land Acquisition activity" when the property was still in the hands of the Allan family.

Mr Newman said Mr Crisafulli had been asked to urgently raise the confusing situation with both Fraser Coast Council and Wide Bay Water.

"I have asked to be personally informed of the outcome of this situation," he said.

The Chronicle put questions to Wide Bay Water on plans to replace or repair the Lenthalls Dam gates last week but no response has been received.



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