400Ml a day wasted as drought bites

MEMBER for Hinkler Keith Pitt is leading an 11th-hour push to save thousands of megalitres of water being from drained into the ocean until the Queensland Government releases a crucial dam safety report.

Mr Pitt said farmers around the Paradise Dam, near Bundaberg, were furious that 400Ml of fresh water are flowing into the sea every day during one of the most serious droughts in decades.

He has co-signed a letter with five federal and state MPs to state Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham, pleading with him to release details of a safety report being relied on to permanently reduce the dam to 42 per cent capacity.

The MPs said communities deserved to know the "full details and full extent" of the safety concerns.

They said that announcement had inflicted "much anxiety, confusion and honest fury" in the community which was rising every day that "precious water' flowed into the ocean.

"Our region deserves answers and we call on you to provide a fully transparent and public declaration of the circumstances and rightly commit to delaying any permanent work until the outcome of the investigation is known," they wrote.

Mr Pitt said if the government just waited another five weeks, sugarcane farmers could start using the water on their crops, saving it from being wasted.

A spokeswoman for Mr Lynham referred The Courier-Mail to his comments in State Parliament last week when he said he had acted immediately on advice from technical experts at Sunwater, the dam operator.

"They advised me that the action that needed to be taken was to lower dam capacity to 42 per cent and also to lower the spillway by 5m," he said.

"I acted on that advice.

"There was a technical review panel and at the present time an

overseas expert from the United States is reviewing Sunwater's findings."