Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)
Wide Bay farmers have welcomed the Palaszczuk government’s recent cash pledge to rehabilitate Paradise Dam, but said the class action will continue. The state administration stated on Tuesday that it would invest up to $600 million in the restoration of Paradise Dam to its original height. The Premier is counting on the federal government to match their commitment and deliver the project, which will cost $1.2 billion in total. In August 2020, a group of Bundaberg farmers filed a class action lawsuit against Sunwater and the Queensland government for alleged negligent management of Paradise Dam and fraudulent and misleading behaviour.
Michael McMahon, a macadamia grower from Bundaberg, supports the class action lawsuit against the state government. After two years of false hope, Mr McMahon was stunned by the premier’s declaration earlier this week. Mr McMahon remarked, “I thought I should be glad about this, but I still got a foul taste in my mouth.” “When the premier announced the decision to rehabilitate the dam late last year, I didn’t have much faith that it would be carried out.”It was encouraging to hear that they were committed to correcting their error.”
Mr McMahon said they would have struggled to make their opinions heard in Parliament if it hadn’t been for their local MP Tom Smith’s advocacy. “Tom Smith’s presence in the area has been a blessing. On this topic, he has fought valiantly for us. There have been many people who have contributed to where we are now, but I believe our local member deserves a slap on the back “he stated “All of my interactions, discussions, and emails with Glenn Butcher, the Minister of Water, have been positive.”
Mr McMahon, on the other hand, said there is still a lot of bitterness about how the Paradise Dam was handled. “It provides me with more trust that they’ll truly solve it,” he added, “but all they’re really doing is mending something that they didn’t do properly in the first place.” “This isn’t a brand-new water infrastructure project for the area. It nearly makes me mad to think that they are regional heroes or that we should give them a big pat on the back. “In the last two years, they’ve put us through a lot.”