07 November 2014

Attempt to stop flood victims class action case a low blow

Award winning journalist
Brian Bennion
Award winning Queensland Times journalist Brian Bennion writes:

IT MAY be "routine" legal play for Seqwater and SunWater to try to stop flood victims taking their case to court but most of Queensland will see it as a low blow.

More than 4500 Ipswich and Brisbane flood victims have a case that must be heard.

The January 2011 floods took lives, destroyed homes, crippled businesses, ruined livelihoods and broke hearts as families lost irreplaceable possessions, especially the simple things like photographs of children.

2011 flood slowly rising at corner of
Brisbane Tce and Layard St Goodna.
  Pic: Lubo Jonic
The State Government has a duty to ensure the victims of this flood have their day in court.

Is the State Government being a "model litigant" in the proceedings, Premier Campbell Newman?

Mr Newman was quite vocal in making the former government accountable and answerable to the management of Wivenhoe Dam in the lead-up to the floods.

For the government-owned corporations of Seqwater and SunWater to attempt to throw the matter out of court is out of line.

There is a lot to lose. The cost to these corporations and the Government would be more than $1 billion. But there is also a reputation to uphold and the people of Queensland must have faith in the operators of our water assets and an assurance that the management of Wivenhoe Dam minimises the devastating impact of floods and certainly does not exaggerate the impact.