11 January 2016

Paul Tully: It's time to settle the Brisbane and Bremer Rivers flood class action out-of-court


Lowe Street Goodna
An emotional call has been made on the 5th anniversary of the 2011 flood for the state government, Seqwater and Sunwater to settle the billion dollar flood class action without the need for expensive court hearings “where the only real winners will be the lawyers”.

The class action - the largest ever commenced in Australia - was commenced in the NSW Supreme Court in 2014 by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers on behalf of over 5000 flood victims in southeast Queensland.

In 2012 when the report of the Floods Commission of Inquiry was handed down both the government and opposition said they would act as model litigants in the event of a class action.

Ipswich councillor Paul Tully, a victim of the flood, said the claimants have recently had their case delayed until at least 2017 by a judge in Sydney.

Goodna's Pillar of Courage
Cr Tully said it could be 10 years after the flood before a decision was made with an appeal to the High Court possible by the losing party.

“These are real people still suffering financially and emotionally and any further delays are totally unacceptable.

Yellow is the 2011 flood
level.  The very top, in
purple, was the 1893
flood level at
“Flood victims deserve a prompt settlement of their claims without the need for expensive courtroom litigation where the only real winners will be the lawyers.”

Cr Tully urged the state government and Seqwater to look for a way to settle the class action without any further prevarication or delay.

“The battlers who lost everything in the flood don’t care about self-serving claims of innocence by Seqwater or technical legal defences by their lawyers.

“All they want is a fair go with proper compensation so they can finally move on with their lives,” Cr Tully said.

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