Flood victim ‘absolutely disgusted’ by State’s behaviour
GOODNA resident and flood victim Frank Beaumont said he was ‘absolutely disgusted’ by the news the State Government hopes to pay out just 1 per cent of damages to victims of the 2011 flood.
It comes as parties involved in the 2011 floods class action prepare for a damages hearing in the NSW Supreme Court this week.
Maurice Blackburn said the state was taking the position that flood engineers employed by the state were not as responsible as the other engineers involved in dam management who were not employed by the state.
Mr Beaumont said if the state was successful, it wouldn’t leave him with much.
“I could probably go on a pacific cruise on a paddle board,” he said.
“I’m bitterly disappointment in what’s going on in the present moment.
“Accept the decision of the court and give us some sort of closure. Remuneration is going to be fantastic, but it’s nine years and we still haven’t got a result.
“I’ve got to live to see the end of it. I’m 78 and I would love to see the end of it but whether I do or not is not my decision.”
Maurice Blackburn based its successful class action on a simple proposition: that engineers had allowed too much water to accumulate in dams, including the massive Wivenhoe Dam above Brisbane, in the lead-up to the January 2011 floods.
The law firm says Seqwater should be liable for 50 per cent of damages, SunWater for 25 per cent and the state itself 25 per cent.
The Government has said it will not appeal the decision on the class action, but would refrain from further comment until other matters related to the matter were determined by the courts.
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said Labor was backtracking.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to accept the court’s verdict and pay the compensation these victims are entitled to,” she said.
The three-day hearing will be held via videoconference, but not all victims were convinced.
“I think this mediation meeting over the next three days, I don’t think that’s going to resolve anything,” Mr Beaumont said.