AUSTRALIA: Newspaper Puts Politicians In Deep Water

Water Utilities Cabinet Minister Stephen Robertson and Premier Anna Bligh face fresh criticism from the newspaper, The Australian, following the alleged mismanagement of Brisbane’s main dam, the Wivenhoe Dam, during a disaster 13 months ago.

According to reports, in January 2011, engineers were forced to release water in large bursts to prevent the total collapse of the dam due to overfilling.  But an investigation conducted by The Australian indicated inconsistencies between the original January 2011 report by SEQWater, which manages the dam, and their January 2012 report.  Additionally, the paper’s probe uncovered both recorded conversations and emails between government ministers and SEQWater executives that demonstrate “gross mismanagement” of dam flow strategy at the time of the incident. The large bursts of water released damaged thousands of properties and caused a large back flow of water that flooded numerous large areas in Ipswich and Brisbane. The Australian’s exclusive investigation has prompted a new round of public hearings on the incident.

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