Recovery efforts at the Murphys Creek Tavern after the January 2011 flood disaster.
Recovery efforts at the Murphys Creek Tavern after the January 2011 flood disaster.

Flood compo couple told to keep chasing authorities

A COUPLE who helped flood victims in the catastrophic 2011 Gatton deluge have been told to approach authorities after a court setback.

James and Lynette Barns allowed the building they owned at Murphys Creek Tavern to be an evacuation and recovery centre for two months.

But disputes with authorities over compensation for loss of income and other costs dragged on for years.

On October 31 last year, the couple applied to have seven people and entities produce various documents related to the flood and its aftermath.

Those seven included police, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and member for Lockyer, Ian Rickuss.

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal considered whether the documents related to the floods should be handed over, if they even existed.

In a new decision, QCAT member Glen Cranwell said he could find no evidence right to information requests were ever made to the Department of the Premier and Cabinet or Mr Rickuss.

Mr Cranwell said the "appropriate course of action" was for the couple to make more right to information requests, or otherwise approach the authorities.

He said right to information requests would help confirm "the existence or otherwise" of the documents.

The application for production of documents was dismissed.

The flood recovery centre at Murphys Creek operated from New Year's Day 2011 to February 28 that year.

The Barnses agreed their staff would co-ordinate disaster management operations from the recovery centre.

Meanwhile, the department agreed to pay the Barnses for using facilities, food and beverages.

The tavern owners had previously sought $246,712 compensation from the Department of Communities, Queensland Police Service and Lockyer Valley Regional Council.

-NewsRegional

News Corp Australia

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