LETTERS: Seqwater justification a bit rich for residents

SEQWATER'S attempt to counter publicity about delays to the class action and justify its actions in the 2011 flood by its letter dated October 21 should be seen for what it is.

They cannot justify their actions by repeating what they thought they did versus what they actually did. They tried that at the first Flood Commission of Enquiry and almost succeeded.

I refer to clause 16.11 pages 503 to 509 of Volume 2 Final Report; "It follows that the Wivenhoe Dam was operated in breach of the manual from 8am on January 8, 2011 until the evening of January 9."

The commissioner did not think that the engineers "did an extraordinary job in the most difficult and demanding circumstances."

If they did then why did they need to rewrite history and claim they were in one release strategy during the event and another when providing evidence to the Flood Inquiry?

It must look very different to someone in an Ipswich office to someone on the mid-Brisbane River bank, watching their property being trashed because of the need to conform with the flood manual. The events of the May 1, 2015 rain event demonstrate that Seqwater has learned little from 2011. Their engineers' estimates of the amount of water reaching Somerset and Wivenhoe dams were more than double the actual amount, resulting in too much water being released.

Seqwater saved everybody but the residents of the mid-Brisbane River, who incurred more than $350,000 of property damage because of this minor rain. All of this damage occurred after the rain was finished and the seven-day forecast was for fine weather.

TOM WILKINSON, Mid Brisbane River irrigators


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