Wagners Move Forward Following January Floods



Wagners Move Forward Following January Floods - Oct 09 2011

A quarry owner says a hydrologist's testimony at the Queensland floods inquiry vindicates the company from any responsibility for the devastating Lockyer Valley flood in January.

At yesterday's hearing, senior hydrologist Dr Peter Jordan dismissed claims a levee around Wagner's quarry at Grantham contributed to the so-called 'inland tsunami' that hit the town.

Sixteen people lost their lives and three people are still listed as missing as the wall of water tore through the region on January 10.

Dr Jordan told the inquiry that modelling shows the quarry actually mitigated the impact of flooding in the town.

"The influence of that on Grantham was insignificant," he said.

"If anything there was a reduction in flood levels and velocities through the town."

Dr Jordan told the inquiry the quarry reduced water levels in Grantham by up to 10 centimetres and delayed the water's arrival by about 10 minutes.

Wagner's managing director Denis Wagner says he hopes the doctor's evidence ends speculation about the quarry's role.

"It's very important that out of the flood inquiry has come the fact and the realisation that our operation at Grantham actually lessened the impact of the flood on the Grantham township, as opposed to making it worse, as has been alleged in various media reports over recent times," he said.

Mr Wagner says the quarry was extensively damaged by the flood as well.

"We suffered an enormous amount of damage during the floods at our Grantham operations," he said.

"Some of our operation there still hasn't recommenced production."

Meanwhile, Brisbane resident Stephen Bolland, from Auchenflower, told the inquiry yesterday he looked at a Brisbane City Council flood-wise report before buying his home three years ago.

He said he thought it showed that his home was in a low risk flood zone.

"It didn't say 'high risk and I should be concerned'," he said.

He told the Inquiry if he knew the property was at high risk, he would not have bought it.

However, Brisbane City Council lawyer Peter Dunning repeatedly questioned whether Mr Bolland had read the document carefully enough.

Inquiry Commissioner Cate Holmes interjected, questing Mr Dunning's line of cross-examination.

"It's been made clear - he didn't join the dots, he didn't look at the definitions," Ms Holmes said.