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Engineers investigate Victoria dam leak

Engineers are continuing to investigate a leak at a dam on Victoria’s Surf Coast, which forced dozens of people out of their homes at the weekend.

More than 100 residents of Torquay, near Geelong, were allowed to return home on Sunday evening after about 60 megalitres of water was pumped out of the dam.

The residents were forced to spend two nights away from home after leaks were identified at a 180-megalitre private dam in the early hours of Saturday.

Southern Rural Water managing director Cameron FitzGerald has assured residents the dam is now safe.

“Our dam safety experts are very firm on that,” he told ABC Melbourne radio on Monday.

“It is safe for people to be in their homes and the drawdown of the water level means that if there is a breach in the wall then, obviously, the water doesn’t come crashing down.”

Mr FitzGerald said authorities are continuing to lower the water level, to reduce pressure on the dam walls.

Once the dam has reached a reduced level, safety engineers and technical advisers will complete a more detailed assessment.

The water is being spread across nearby farmland but some is expected to enter adjacent wetlands.

Southern Rural Water will provide regular progress updates on their website: www.srw.com.au.

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