By Madolline Gourley
The man responsible for the safety of Wivenhoe Dam has argued for a new step to be added to the dam’s emergency flow chart, allowing for more time to release floodwaters.
Dam safety regulator Peter Allen today gave evidence to the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry in Brisbane.
The inquiry is examining what lead to the Brisbane River breaking its banks following an excessive amount of rain in January.
Engineers responsible for Wivenhoe during the floods followed an emergency flow chart that led them to a strategy called ‘W4’.
This strategy made the operators prioritise the safety of Wivenhoe Dam over the flooding of homes in Brisbane.
Of the 14,200 victims affected by the flood, many argue operators should have released more water from the dam.
Mr Allen told the inquiry he did not support an early dam release before the January floods.
He said there would have to be a significant study conducted before the emergency flow chart was amended for future use.
“They are something that if you do take them on, we have got to be very, very careful about,” Mr Allen said.
“If the forecast rainfall doesn’t come, then you are in serious trouble from people saying you flooded my house where you didn’t have to.”
Justice Catherine Holmes, head of the floods inquiry, has previously referred to part of the dam’s manual as “a mess”.
The inquiry continues.