Another important win in Montara oil spill class action

15 November 2017
More than 15,000 Indonesian seaweed farmers whose livelihoods were devastated by an avoidable oil spill on the Montara oil field, have had another Federal Court victory today, on their path to securing much-needed compensation for the destruction of their farms.

Justice David Yates granted the lead applicant in the class action, seaweed farmer Daniel Sanda, an extension of time to bring the claim in accordance with Northern Territory requirements. He can therefore proceed to lead the claim for affected farmers.

Ben Slade, Class Action Principal at Australia’s leading class actions firm Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, said it was an important victory for affected farmers which would enable the case to again focus on the core issues of wrongdoing and compensation.

“Today is a great day for 15,000 Indonesian seaweed farmers who have been given the green light to have their day in Court and to see that justice is truly done,” Mr Slade said.

“We are now looking forward to presenting the farmers’ evidence and having it heard and determined by Justice Yates.

“This win today means we can get on with the real business of securing appropriate redress for the thousands of Indonesian seaweed farmers who have had their lives severely impacted by the oil spill.”

The Montara oil spill case is being run on behalf of more than 15,000 seaweed farmers against the company that operated the Montara wellhead platform, PTTEP Australasia (Ashmore Cartier) Pty Ltd.

On 21 August 2009 the Montara oil rig began uncontrollably spewing oil and for more than 70 days gas and oil from the rig gushed into the Timor Sea about 690km west of Darwin and 250km southeast of Rote Island, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia.

The leak was finally plugged on 3 November 2009.