State has to answer for Queensland Floods

21 January 2014
An independent investigation has concluded that the flooding of a large number of properties down river from Wivenhoe Dam in 2011 would not have occurred had the dam been operated to the standard expected of a reasonably competent dam operator.

The comprehensive modelling will form the basis of a class action on behalf of thousands of flood victims in Queensland's South-East, to be run on a no-win no-fee basis by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and backed by litigation funder IMF Australia.

Maurice Blackburn Class Actions principal Damian Scattini said there was now sufficient evidence to ensure a class action could proceed.

"Since the Commission of Inquiry delivered its report, we indicated that a class action is likely - we have done the necessary preparations and we have a strong case," Mr Scattini said.

"Our modelling shows that had Wivenhoe been operated properly there would not have been flooding in some areas.

"In other areas this poor operation meant flooding was much worse than it should have been. This evidence provides us with strong grounds to proceed with a class action."

IMF Executive Director John Walker said it was important for people in affected areas to show their support for the class action.

"The reality is that for many, this is a flood that didn't need to happen," Mr Walker said.

"The work has been done to build a solid case, and we're now calling on people to register for the action - already we've had strong support from people affected and continuing this is vital to ensuring this case can progress.

"Too many people lost their homes and businesses through the poor operation of Wivenhoe, and many are still struggling to recover and rebuild their lives. This class action is about getting compensation for those people and ensuring what went wrong never happens again.

"We are continuing to urge anyone who was affected by the 2011 flood event to register their interest in the class action," he said.

A series of information meetings will be held in flood-affected areas to provide local residents and businesses with an opportunity to receive further information about the action. For more information on that, visit www.imf.com.au/wivenhoe  or call 1800 809 600.

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