Claudia Baxter

Tully throws cold water on decision over dams

WATER Supply Minister Mark McArdle has decided not to temporarily lower Wivenhoe Dam for the upcoming wet season.

His decision drew flak from Ipswich City Council planning boss Paul Tully, who described it as "short-sighted".

Mr McArdle said he studied reports from the Department of Energy and Water Supply (DEWS) including analysis by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts, Seqwater, the SEQ Water Grid Manager and the Queensland Water Commission.

"I sought further advice from BoM on November 1 about the 2012-13 wet season," he said.

"It's clear from BoM's latest advice, that this summer's wet season is different from the strong La Nina conditions that persisted during the devastating Queensland floods of the 2010-11 wet season.

"Taking into account the difference between the current seasonal forecast, the 2010-11 forecasts, as well as drinking water security for south-east Queensland, I have decided not to lower Wivenhoe or North Pine dams at this time."

Cr Tully said it was "a short-sighted decision which adds more risks to residents in flood-prone areas of Ipswich and Brisbane".

"Wivenhoe Dam should be lowered to 75 per cent capacity as a precaution against another flood this summer," he said.

"The minister should stop listening to highly-paid, out-of-touch bureaucrats, boffins and policy advisors."



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