Landmark $440m settlement for 2011 flood victims

 

Queensland flood victims seeking compensation have reached a major milestone today with a landmark $440 million settlement which points to a total final payment of at least $880 million.

The state of Queensland and Sunwater have settled their 50 per cent share of the liability in the Wivenhoe Dam class action.

That class action run by Maurice Blackburn lawyers found in favour of flood victims after a lengthy 2018 New South Wales Supreme Court hearing.

The Wivenhoe dam during the 2011 flood.
The Wivenhoe dam during the 2011 flood.

The only remaining settlement issue relates to the liability allocated to Seqwater.

Litigation funder Omni Bridgeway said the hard-fought legal battle for 6700 claimants, which stretches back 10 years to the 2010/11 southeast Queensland floods, and accusation of dam mismanagement by Wivenhhoe dam operators, looked like ending in a $880 million settlement.

"This may not reflect the actual outcome achieved with respect to the remaining respondent (Seqwater) in the future, however estimates of total loss made by the lawyers for the class based on the findings in the first instance judgment exceed this total amount.''

Flood victim and Ipswich councillor Paul Tully said it was "outrageous'' Seqwater was pursuing its appeal against the court decision.

"The state government must direct Seqwater to withdraw their ill-considered appeal,'' Cr Tully said.

"It's more than 10 years since the flood and this a despicable state of affairs that the 7000 flood victims have still not been compensated.''

Originally published as Landmark $440m settlement for 2011 flood victims

Rocklea in Brisbane’s south during the 2011 flood. Picture: Bruce Long
Rocklea in Brisbane’s south during the 2011 flood. Picture: Bruce Long


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