2000 people to sue state
OSWALD Van Sanden is one of 400 flood victims at Goodna to have voiced a desire to join a $1 billion class action against Seqwater and the State Government.
Mr Van Sanden attended a meeting on Monday night in Goodna where class action lawyers Maurice Blackburn outlined their plans for legal action over the mismanagement of last year's floods.
"I was in Brisbane Terrace in Goodna and I got flooded out for a second time but I never got a penny from the insurance," Mr Van Sanden told the QT.
"I nearly had a breakdown and had to sell my house for half price. I want to see if the lawyers can help us to get some money."
Lawyers announced at the meeting that over 2000 claimants had already signed up for a class action, with that figure expected to treble in coming months.
Meeting organiser, Ipswich councillor Paul Tully, described it as a major success.
Cr Tully called on the State Government to establish a compensation fund to meet all legal claims and to avoid costly litigation in the courts.
"People deserve to be justly compensated now and not 10 years down the track when the 2011 flood is a one-paragraph entry in the latest history books," Cr Tully said.
"Residents were fully briefed on the basis of the proposed class action and their legal rights to sue the state government.
"This could be a long, drawn-out process but the prospects of ultimate success are very promising," Cr Tully said.
"They have already got over 2000 people signed up through Maurice Blackburn for a class action and they expect that to treble in the next few months.
"They haven't signed on yet to the class action but they left their names, addresses and details to signify that they want to be sent all the material.
"There were a lot of good questions raised. One bloke had lost his job and wanted to know if a class action would cover that... and they said it possibly would.
"There were other questions in relation to renters who had lost possessions in the flood and they were told they could clearly claim.
"People who were underinsured were told they could still claim and even people who received help from the Premier's fund but incurred other losses could still claim," he said.
"We had people mainly from the Goodna area but also from Ipswich and the western suburbs of Brisbane.
"It was a very positive meeting. I was really pleased."