Flood victims call on state to abandon class action defence

THE MULTI-BILLION dollar class action by 2011 flood victims against the State should be settled out of court by the Queensland Government before it gets to trial.

That is the view of Cr Paul Tully who said the government should stick to its word from three years ago and be a model litigant in the matter.

Cr Tully also has the backing of 73-year-old flood victim Frank Beaumont who was denied an insurance payout because his insurance company quibbled over the definition of the word 'flood'.

The class action has been launched by law firm Maurice Blackburn against Seqwater, Sun Water and the State of Queensland on behalf of 4500 Ipswich and Brisbane plaintiffs who lost homes and businesses in the 2011 floods.

The hearing has been set down for the Supreme Court of NSW in Sydney on July 18, 2016.

"The former Labor Government and the LNP both said in 2012 that they would act as model litigants in this matter," Cr Tully said.

"A lot of people are suffering and still haven't got back to their homes and I urge the government to settle the claim prior to the hearing

"That would need goodwill on both sides, but we don't want taxpayer money being wasted to lose the case and have to pay out even more money.

"This would be an appropriate case, based on the material to be exchanged between the parties over the next 12 months, for the government to consider a settlement."

An independent investigation by Maurice Blackburn, which took over a year to complete, concluded that the flooding of a large number of properties downriver from Wivenhoe Dam in 2011 would not have occurred had the dam been operated to the standard expected of a reasonably competent dam operator.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told the QT any decision about a settlement would be made by Crown Law and that she was not able to comment.

Mr Beaumont, who was left with just a roof and three walls after the 2011 floods destroyed his Goodna home, has backed Cr Tully's call.

FRANK TALK: Goodna flood victim Frank Beaumont, seen here with Cr Paul Tully, lost everything in the 2011 floods and wants the government to settle a class action case out of court before trial.
FRANK TALK: Goodna flood victim Frank Beaumont, seen here with Cr Paul Tully, lost everything in the 2011 floods and wants the government to settle a class action case out of court before trial. Kylie Triggell


His experience mirrors that of many in the community.

"I'm a pensioner and I had to go back to part-time work because we didn't get any insurance," he said.

"We were insured but the insurance company said they didn't cover 'floods'.

"It is my aspiration that the government would be prepared to settle out of court.

"I think there is a better chance of that happening under the Labor Party, but if they wait until July next year and fight it that will just be putting us through more pain.

"It will also cost millions of dollars for lawyers if they do fight it."

Mr Beaumont got a flood victim payment from the government but because he and his family lost everything in their house they had to replace household items such as furniture and white goods, and find accommodation for six months.

The payment did not cover costs and Mr Beaumont said the family had to borrow money they didn't have to rebuild their home.

"We had to not just rebuild our house. We had to rebuild our lives," he said

The class action case is being heard in NSW because Queensland does not allow for class action suits in its courts.

The initial plaintiff lived in NSW and had a flooded property in Brisbane, entitling them to launch the initial action in NSW.

"That enabled 4500 plaintiffs in Ipswich and Brisbane to join in the multi-billion dollar class action," Cr Tully said.

"Goodna was the worst affected suburb in the 2011 flood with over 600 properties flooded which included homes and businesses."

"There were a lot of people who were denied insurance because of technicalities under the definition of 'flood' in their insurance policies who are still anxiously awaiting the outcome of the class action."

Cr Tully's own home was flooded in the 2011 floods and he is a plaintiff in the case against the State.

FRANK TALK: Goodna flood victim Frank Beaumont lost everything in the 2011 floods and wants the government to settle a class action case out of court before trial.
FRANK TALK: Goodna flood victim Frank Beaumont lost everything in the 2011 floods and wants the government to settle a class action case out of court before trial. Inga Williams


Topics:  2011 floods class action law suit paul tully seqwater water releases wivenhoe dam

Bank, supermarket among business targeted in bomb threats

Police generic.  Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily

Detectives continue hunt for female suspect

Here's why you need to watch QTV

The QTV logo in conjunction with USQ. TV station QT.Television.

Catch our latest video news show tomorrow.

Family of Dreamworld victims speak out about tragic deaths

Shayne Goodchild (right), father of Dreamworld accident victims Luke Dorsett and Kate Goodchild, and Kate Goodchild's partner David Turner read out a statement to the media at the National Carillion in Canberra. Photo: AAP

Shayne Goodchild speaks on the deaths of his two children

Local Partners

Workmates honour crash victim with tribute

UPDATE: Tanya Lyell is being remembered as a young mother dedicated to her family and work as the town she called home mourns its loss.

Where to trick or treat in Ipswich this Halloween

Plenty of kids will be dressing up again this year.

HERE are some of the streets ready to celebrate

Things to do this weekend

ON STAGE: Dragon play the Ipswich Civic Centre tonight.

See an Oz rock icon, take in a play, or visit a musuem

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Mariah Carey and James Packer discussing relationship

Mariah Carey and James Packer are discussing how to work things out

January Jones: Take time away from your phone

January Jones needs time away from her phone

Mel C won't return to Spice Girls for daughter

MEL C is adamant she won't reunite with the Spice Girls

60's British rock legends to return to Australia

The Troggs will play a string of dates across Australia in November.  Photo Contributed

We all remember 'Wild Thing' and now you can hear it live.

Depp jumps ship from agency of 25 years

Johnny Depp has signed to CAA after 25 years with the United

Orlando Bloom 'buried' Katy Perry in birthday flowers

Orlando Bloom "buried" Katy Perry in flowers for her birthday

Want to own one of Australia's best restaurants?

TOP GONG: Mooloolaba Spice Bar has been named in TripAdvisor's Top 10 Australian restaurants for 2016.

Here's your chance to pick up one of the Coast's favourite eateries

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Is Woolworths departure good news for Ipswich CBD?

Artist impression of the Ipswich Mall for the rejuvenation project to be undertaken by Ipswich City Properties

Council is on track to release a detailed plan before December

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!