About the Commission

The Commission was established by an Order in Council to conduct a full and independent Inquiry of the structural and stability issues identified by engineering and technical studies conducted between 30 January 2013 and 30 November 2019 concerning Paradise Dam near Bundaberg, Queensland.

The Inquiry commenced on 6 December 2019 and reported its findings to the Honourable the Premier and Minister for Trade and the Honourable the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy on 30 April 2020. You can read the Commission’s report here.

For access to the Queensland Government’s response to the Commission’s recommendations visit: www.dnrme.qld.gov.au/land-water/initiatives/paradise-dam

The Commissioners

John Byrne AO RFD

The Honourable John Byrne AO RFD graduated in Arts and in Law at the University of Queensland.

In 1973, the University of Michigan awarded him the degree of Master of Laws.

John started as a barrister in 1974. Practising mainly in commercial cases, he became Queen’s Counsel in 1982.

In 1989, aged 40, John was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland.

In 2007, he was appointed, as Senior Judge Administrator, to head the Trial Division of the Supreme Court.

John has been President of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration and has chaired the governing Council of the National Judicial College of Australia.

In 2013, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the judiciary and to the law.

John left the Supreme Court in 2017.

Emeritus Professor John Carter AM FAA FTSE FRSN FIEAust FAIB

Professor John Carter has more than 40 years of experience in teaching, researching and consulting in civil, geotechnical and offshore engineering.

He has held research and academic appointments with the Soil Mechanics Group at the University of Cambridge, King’s College London, the University of Queensland, Cornell University, the University of Sydney, and the University of Newcastle.

He is a former director of the geotechnical consultancy Advanced Geomechanics Pty Ltd and also a former National Chair of the Australian Geomechanics Society.

In January 2006, he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for his contributions to civil engineering through research into soil and rock mechanics and as an adviser.

Counsel Assisting

JONATHAN HORTON, SENIOR COUNSEL ASSISTING

Queen’s Counsel (QC) Jonathan Horton is a barrister with a specialised practice in public law.  

He has assisted numerous reviews and inquiries, including the Home Insulation Inquiry (Ian Hangar AM QC), the Queensland Health Payroll Commission (Hon Richard Chesterman AO RFD QC) and the New South Wales (NSW) Lockout Laws Review (Hon Ian Callinan AC).  

He also conducted an inquiry into the licence held by the Star Casino for the NSW government.  

His qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Laws from Sydney University with First Class Honours.  He holds a Masters in Law and a PhD from Edinburgh University.

JANE MENZIES, COUNSEL ASSISTING

Jane Menzies is a barrister with practice experience in corporate and commercial law.

She has worked as a commercial litigator for an international law firm and acted for clients in major disputes such as the Home Insulation Royal Commission and class action resulting from the 2011 floods in south-east Queensland.

Prior to this, she held the position of associate at the High Court of Australia to Justice Susan Keifel AC (now the Chief Justice) and the Federal Magistrates Court to Judge Purdon-Sully. A university medallist of law from Queensland University of Technology, she is also a qualified Civil Engineer with first class honours from the University of Queensland.

As an engineer she worked in onsite construction, consultancy and project management for several years.

Samantha Amos, COUNSEL ASSISTING

Samantha Amos is a barrister with broad practice experience in commercial law.

Before being called to the bar, she was a Principal Lawyer for Queensland Crown Law’s commercial litigation team, acting for the State and various government instrumentalities in complex disputes, such as a claim for damages resulting from disaster management actions taken by government officers during the 2011 floods.

Samantha holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She also holds a Master of Laws from QUT, where she studied advanced commercial contracts.

Alexander McKinnon, COUNSEL ASSISTING

Alexander McKinnon is a barrister with experience in commercial litigation. 

In 2010, he was the Associate to the Hon. Justice Byrne AO RFD in the Supreme Court of Queensland. 

He holds dual Commerce (Finance) and Law (Hons) degrees from the University of Queensland. In 2012 he graduated with a Master of Laws (First Class Honours) from the University of Cambridge.

As a solicitor, he advised clients across a range of complex international disputes ranging from joint ventures to large scale infrastructure and river pollution cases. Alexander has a unique understanding of corporate management and alternative dispute resolution strategy having worked in-house in a FTSE100 group company in London.