Maurice Blackburn have started an investigation into the Callide flood and how SunWater managed the dam.
Maurice Blackburn have started an investigation into the Callide flood and how SunWater managed the dam. Emma CLARKE

Law firm investigating Callide Dam overflow

FLOODING from the Callide Dam is "uncomfortably familiar", according to the law firm that is running a claim on behalf of 5000 people for the mis-management of the Somerset and Wivenhoe Dams in the Brisbane 2011 floods.

This week Maurice Blackburn confirmed it had started an investigation into the Callide flood and how SunWater managed the dam.

Damian Scattini, one of the firm's principals and head of the Queensland class action department, said his firm had received "quite a few" calls from victims of the Jambin and Biloela floods asking it to help in a possible class action against the company.

He said his staff had already started investigating the incident and were calling on all agencies to determine if a class action was viable.

After what his firm learned from the Brisbane floods of 2011, Mr Scattini said he could not understand why SunWater would have allowed the water to be released all at once.

"It's the same operator. How could they have done that again?" he asked.

"They let the water build up for too long (at Wivenhoe) and let the water all go at once. I'm not saying it is the same in this case. It just seems uncomfortably familiar," he said.

"It's a case of deja vu with a huge rain event and they leave the dam full.

"When you're a dam operator your only tool you have in the shed is storage capacity and you're really just a bystander at that point.

"It's not good enough to say nobody could do anything when the cyclone was there.

"(Cyclones) don't just pop out of the ground. They had warning and apparently they chose not to do anything about it."

A SunWater spokesperson said the company would declined to not comment on any legal action - potential or before the courts.

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