Seqwater's involvement in the Commission of Inquiry
On 17 January 2011 the Queensland Government announced an independent Commission of Inquiry, to examine the unprecedented flood disaster that impacted 70 per cent of the State in 2010-2011.
The Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry aims to independently and thoroughly examine the chain of events leading to the floods and all aspects of the response.
As the owner and operator of Wivenhoe, Somerset and North Pine Dams, Seqwater had an integral role to play in managing and responding to the recent flood event.
We welcome this opportunity to tell our story and make an important contribution to the outcome of the Inquiry.
On 1 August 2011, the Commission released its Interim Report, which covers matters associated with flood preparedness for next summer’s wet season. The final report is expected to be delivered by February 2012.
In its Interim Report, the Commission states, “Nothing in the evidence heard or the material received by the Commission suggested anything other than that they are diligent and competent and acted in good faith throughout the flood event.”
The Commission’s own independent expert, Mark Babister, also noted in his final report to the Commission, Review of Hydraulic Modelling, that Seqwater and its flood engineers achieved close to the best outcome possible.
Seqwater is already well advanced in its preparations for the next wet season and will continue to work with other agencies on implementing the Commission’s recommendations.
Interim reviews of the Wivenhoe and Somerset dams operating manual and the North Pine Dam operating manual have already been undertaken and the updated manuals have been approved by the Queensland Dam Safety Regulator; visit the submissions and reports page to view the updated manuals.
A longer, more comprehensive review will follow, which will involve a number of government agencies, local councils and consultation with the community.
Other key initiatives that Seqwater has been progressing include:
- Establishment of a new Flood Operation Centre which was in train prior to the floods and became fully operational last month
- Recruitment of additional duty engineers and flood officers to allow for appropriate succession planning and increase our operational capacity
- Investigations into increasing the number of rainfall gauges in the catchment to enhance data collection
- Technical reviews including investigating enhanced modelling of major rainfall and flooding events
- Training programs to reflect a potential change in Wivenhoe Dam’s FSL ahead of the coming wet season.
Please click here to read the Commission's Interim Report.
Mark Babister's final report, Review of Hydraulic Modelling, is also available.
For further information on the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry please visit www.floodcommission.qld.gov.au.
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