Community Reference Group

Paradise Dam Essential Works Project

Paradise Dam, Queensland

Ensuring the safety of communities downstream of Paradise Dam is Sunwater’s primary concern. Immediate essential works are necessary to lower the spillway in order to better manage community safety.

Paradise Dam Community Reference Group

The Paradise Dam Community Reference Group (PDCRG) has been established to facilitate information sharing and discussion of matters relating to the Paradise Dam Essential Works and the Dam Improvement Program.

This includes communicating to, and consultation with, the broader communities and stakeholders with an interest in Paradise Dam.

The PDCRG is led by Independent Chair, Mike McKay APM. Mike was awarded the Australia Police Medal (APM) for his contributions to the Disaster Recovery after Cyclone Larry and later the Grantham and Queensland Floods.

The PDCRG began meeting on 31 October 2019. The first Independent Chair was Major General Richard Wilson (Retd) AO, he handed over to Mike McKay in March 2020.

Its role

The role of the PDCRG is to:

  • Establish an effective and efficient communication process between stakeholders and with the community
  • Develop stakeholder and community trust and confidence in the Paradise Dam Early Works, Dam Improvement Program, and Dam operations
  • Assist Sunwater to ensure that there is engagement with the broader community and relevant stakeholders for preparedness for the forthcoming wet season
  • Consider the 2019 Paradise Dam Preparedness IGEM Review and provide feedback on the findings in relation to Sunwater’s responsibilities
  • Develop and strengthen long term relationships between stakeholders
  • Ensure that community stakeholders are accurately informed about Paradise Dam and associated safety and water security matters
  • Allow stakeholders to identify opportunities for better coordination and collaboration in relation to community safety and water security
  • Ensure the local community’s knowledge and skills can be considered in a constructive way
  • Provide a process to raise concerns, and provide an opportunity for Sunwater to demonstrate how those concerns have been taken into consideration.

In summary, their primary focus of the PDCRG is to provide insight into a diverse range of perspectives on community safety and water security.

PDCRG Terms of Reference

PDCRG Questions and Answers

PDCRG members

ChairMike McKay (APM)
Bundaberg Regional CouncilChief Executive Officer Steve Johnston
North Burnett Regional CouncilMayor Rachel Chambers
South Burnett Regional CouncilMayor Brett Otto
Local Disaster Management Group CoordinatorGavin Steele
Irrigation Customer Reference GroupPeter Greensill
Canegrowers IsisMark Mammino
Bundaberg Regional Irrigators GroupDale Holliss
Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable GrowersBree Grima
Bundaberg Chamber of CommerceMelissa Brooke
Wide Bay Burnett Environment CouncilMike Moller
Community Rowan Bond
Downstream residentsKate Shaw and Peter McLennan
PDCRG Chairman Mike McKay APM
PDCRG Chairman Mike McKay APM

Mike was awarded the Australia Police Medal (APM) for his contributions to the Disaster Recovery after Cyclone Larry and later the Grantham and Queensland Floods.

Mike is also working to assist the Ardent Group (owners of Dreamworld) in their disaster recovery and community engagement following the 2016 tragedy at the Dreamworld Theme Park on the Gold Coast where four people lost their lives.

Mike has a commitment to local community and was a founding board member of Sheldon College in the Redlands 20 years ago. Mike is still involved as a Board member at the College.