Queensland election 2017: One Nation candidate for Capalaba campaigns for Leslie Harrison Dam gates restoration

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation candidate for Capalaba Paul Taylor wants to see the gates of Leslie Harrison Dam restored and the dam opened back up for recreational use.

Seqwater announced in September the gates of the dam would not be refitted, crushing the hopes of many residents that the dam would be restored to its full level.

Mr Taylor believes the dam gates are a key local issue and is taking the policy of their restoration to the November 25 election.

Mr Taylor said from the moment he arrived in the Redlands he quickly learned how much the dam matters to voters.

“The very first time I came into the electorate, the very first weekend, I went out to the greyhound race track to have a look what is going on there and the guy who was the acting manager, his name is bob, that was the first time I had ever heard about the Leslie Harrison Dam” he said.

“He said they took those gates off and ever since that time we have been flooded out many times, I think he gave me a figure of 13 times they’ve been flooded. 

“I don’t know how accurate that number is but he did say they’ve been flooded so many times and it’s cost them so much money and I asked him to tell me more about it.

“He went on to say that’s what happened, they took the gates off, they can’t control the water.

“Now that makes common sense, I have seen some of the biggest dams in the world so I know what their purpose is for so I just could not understand why would you take gates off a dam.

“When you take gates off a dam you are going to end up with this result of flooding because you obviously can’t control the water.”

Mr Taylor said as he went about door knocking in the electorate residents continually raised the dam as a point of frustration.

“From my door knocking this issue kept resonating very powerfully,” he said.

Key local issue: The Leslie Harrison Dam

Key local issue: The Leslie Harrison Dam

“Constantly people kept saying put the dam gates on, and we can have our water, we were self sufficient, our water was a lot cheaper than what we are paying for it today etc etc and I thought ok this has now become an even bigger issue so I started looking into it,” he said.

“I just wanted to know what is ticking people off and this resonated the most, it just ticked people off, they said they took the gates off the dam, we have lost control of our water, our prices have gone through the roof and we have lost the recreational facilities we had in place.”

Mr Taylor said if elected he would be willing to work with any MP who was open to helping get the dam gates restored.

“When I’m elected I’m there to represent the people,” he said.

 “In there I will be representing the electorate of Capalaba and I will be more than happy to work with whatever party or government of the day to let them know you’ve got to understand that you took this Labor seat for granted and the people have sent me in here as their representative.

“We need to listen to them and if you don’t listen to them the alternative is I will be letting the electorate know that they continue to ignore your message, and that will be the consequence that they will pay at the next election.”

The dam was built in 1968 and the gates were fitted by Redland taxpayers in 1984.

Seqwater removed the gates and lowered the dam’s water level in 2015 as part of engineering investigations and to improve safety.