Wivenhoe Dam
Wivenhoe Dam Selina Boyle

2011 FLOODS: Court told dam decisions made under pressure

Seqwater dam engineers were under extreme pressure during the January 2011 floods and may have made "different decisions'' if time pressures had not been so intense, a Sydney court has heard.

As the second week of the flood class action begins, Brian O'Donnell, QC, for Seqwater, said flood engineers were under constant pressure during early January 2011, studying modelling and flood calibrations as they worked long shifts.

Mr O'Donnell said it was clear there was no certainty in flood modelling, and different approaches might have been made had the dam engineers had more time.

"Our case is that, had they had more time, they might have made different decisions,'' Mr O'Donnell told the hearing in the NSW Supreme Court.

The class action brought by Maurice Blackburn and incorporating over 6000 individuals and businesses, alleges the State Government, Seqwater and Sunwater were negligent in operating Wivenhoe and Somerset dams during the flooding which peaked in Brisbane on January 13 2011.

Maurice Blackburn lawyers have alleged the dam engineers allowed too much water into the dams and were then forced to release too much water, contributing to the flooding which peaked on January 13, 2011.

The hearing continues.