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Flood victims urged not to rush

Flood victims heard from class action lawyers Maurice Blackburn at a public meeting held at the Ipswich Showgrounds.
Flood victims heard from class action lawyers Maurice Blackburn at a public meeting held at the Ipswich Showgrounds. David Nielsen

FLOOD victims are being urged to hold off signing up for a class action against the state, with more legal firms expected to make offers in coming weeks.

The call for patience come after legal firm Maurice Blackburn held meetings in Ipswich and Fernvale at the weekend to garner interest for a class action law suit funded by IMF Australia.

Fernvale flood victim Brad Zanow, a member of Flood Affected Businesses and Homes, said more law firms may put together group actions.

Mr Zanow's business, Zanow's Sand and Gravel, is situated in Fernvale, and water takes just two hours to pass the site when released from Wivenhoe Dam.

Last year's floods tore through his property.

He said playing the waiting game was key for all those left searching for remittance from the Queensland Government.

"Maurice Blackburn has suggested they want to get as many people to sign up as possible. All we want to do is let people know there are other options," he said.

"There are other class action lawyers that are waiting until the inquiry has handed down their findings.

"There are no deadlines to be met at the moment and there is a fair amount of time before anyone has to sign. We have plenty of time to evaluate each law firm."

Maurice Blackburn and IMF Australia told flood victims at Saturday's meeting that fees from a successful law suit could reach 30% of the total payout.

Mr Zanow said any flood victims who have signed the Maurice Blackburn agreement could back out of the deal before the 21-day cooling off period ended.

"My opinion is anyone who has signed up should exercise the cooling off period and sit back and wait," Mr Zanow said.

"Everybody has time."

Flood Affected Businesses and Homes spokesman David Stark backed Mr Zanow's advice.

Mr Stark said with a possible change of government on the horizon, it was too early to be locked into the first available option.

"I'm sure many people would have signed up thinking 65 cents in the dollar is better than nothing and I don't want to miss out," he said.

The Queensland Flood Inquiry is set to hand down its findings tomorrow.

Topics:  floods maurice blackburn



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