News

Flood victims get their day in court

Goodna resident Frank Beaumont has welcomed the news that a NSW judge has ruled a class action suit for 2011 flood victims can continue.
Goodna resident Frank Beaumont has welcomed the news that a NSW judge has ruled a class action suit for 2011 flood victims can continue. Inga Williams

FLOOD victims from Ipswich will get their chance to fight for compensation with a trial date set for July 2016.

The class action headed to court this week as two of the three defendants, Seqwater and SunWater, moved to have the claim struck out.

Their application was based on a lack of detail in the claim, arguing an absence of any alternative water release strategy was a fundamental flaw.

The State of Queensland did not support the application before the court.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers principal Damian Scattini yesterday said the judge had ruled the case would continue.

"It is good news that we have a trial date," Mr Scattini said.

"There will be people that look at that as some time away but there is plenty of work to do before then. It's a good outcome.

"People will have their day in court. There's nothing that will stop that."

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers filed the claim in the New South Wales Supreme Court in July on behalf of more than 4500 affected residents and business owners.

Their case claims dam engineers were negligent in their handling of the disaster which ultimately led to huge volumes of water being released downstream as a last resort to protect the structural integrity of the dam.

The 150-page claim was lodged in NSW because there is no avenue in Queensland to launch a class action.

The operators of Wivenhoe Dam have denied any wrongdoing.

SunWater declined to comment on the matter and Seqwater would not comment on yesterday's developments.

The water corporations' moves to strike out the statement of claim only appeared to boost the confidence of homeowners and businesses that have joined the class action.

Goodna homeowner Frank Beaumont whose home of 27 years was completely submerged in the floodwaters, leaving nothing but three walls, the roof and internal timber frames to return to, yesterday said he was pleased to hear the claim was going ahead.

"The money is secondary to some admission that they were wrong," Mr Beaumont said.

"Yes, the money would be handy because it cost us everything we ever had.

"I've got no superannuation left. We had no money. We had to beg, borrow and steal at the time to even get started with the house.

"I want some satisfaction that that they did not follow procedures.

"We can't sell our houses. We've lost 39-45% of the value of our properties. We've lost all our savings, everything."

Goodna Services Club president David Christie said a large number of members were affected by the flood and the club struggled through an 18-month closure after the flood.

The club lost infrastructure and fittings to two buildings but was able to refurbish and operate temporarily out of the smaller function room three months after the flood.

Mr Christie said the club luckily had cash reserves to keep it going until refurbishments were completed but he said those reserves were almost exhausted.

He said the application to shut down the case only highlighted what the government-owned corporations had to lose.

"I can understand what Seqwater, SunWater and the government are doing," Mr Christie said.

"It's all about saving money. They stand to lose one or two billion dollars.

"Why try to stop it if there's nothing to hide?"

Goodna-based Councillor Paul Tully said he was confident Maurice Blackburn Lawyers would be able to prove the Wivenhoe Dam was mismanaged in the lead-up to the January 2011 flood.

"It is good the flood victims of Ipswich and Brisbane have finally got their day in court after four frustrating years," Cr Tully said.

Topics:  class action ipswich floods



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Traffic cop busted for speeding, drink driving

Anthony James Brett

Ipswich police officer disqualified from driving

Daiso opening first ever Ipswich store

Daiso is opening in Ipswich. Source: Facebook

HOW you can walk into the shop and take whatever you want...for free

Local Partners

FLOOD RISK: Mayors launch plan to protect $260M industry

A COMPREHENSIVE plan to deal with the flood risk to rivers and lakes in the Lockyer Valley has been launched.


Top 5 Christmas events around Ipswich

The Twighlight Christmas Parade was just the first of many events around the region.

THERE are plenty of exciting Christmas activities coming up.

It's official, Christmas has started in Ipswich

TIS THE SEASON: Plenty of families got into the holiday spirit at the Christmas Twilight Parade.

PHOTOS: Annual Twilight Parade draws hundreds, more events to come

What's on this weekend

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

Things to do in Ipswich

Paris Hilton fumes at clumsy partygoers

A reveller spilt their drink on Paris Hilton's DJ decks

Winnie Harlow isn't a role model

Winnie Harlow insists she isn't a role model.

Felicity Jones proud of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story role

Felicity Jones feels it is "important" for a woman to head Rogue One

Kiwi's plea to Ellen DeGeneres to save bakery after quake

Ellen... we need your magic.

Family had to be helicoptered out after powerful quake

Seacrest: Things are "going better" for Kim and Kanye

Ryan Seacrest says things are "going better now" for Kanye West

Top 5 Christmas events around Ipswich

The Twighlight Christmas Parade was just the first of many events around the region.

THERE are plenty of exciting Christmas activities coming up.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Prices jump in trio of mining towns

THE boost in coal prices in the past six months has triggered a house price jump in at least three mining towns in Central Queensland.

Boost in coal prices triggers a market turnaround

INSIDE STORY: Disused pipeline stops hundreds from building

TRAIL OF TEARS: Route of the disused Santos oil pipeline which is stopping hundreds of Ipswich residents from building.

Santos responds but Tully says easements issue must be addressed

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!