Flood victims frustrated with government buck-passing
VICTIMS of the 2011 floods have been left angry and frustrated by revelations they could be denied more than 90 per cent of compensation.
The victims last year won a class action against the State Government, with a judge ruling the Queensland Government, along with Seqwater and Sunwater, exacerbated the flooding that destroyed thousands of houses.
However, during a damages hearing last week, it was revealed the State Government was arguing it was responsible for less than 1 per cent of the damage arising from the floods.
READ MORE: Flood victims may be denied 99% of payout
Naomi Mason was a member of the class action, after her Vernor home, less than 8km from the Wivenhoe floodgates, was inundated during the flood.
She said it was “absolutely disappointing” the Government was trying to pass the buck.
“Particularly when they actually came out and said they wouldn’t be appealing the case,” Ms Mason said.
She said she believed it was a negotiating tactic to reduce the payout to victims, but was nevertheless frustrated the process was continuing to drag out.
“I think it’s just a barrage of excuses not to do the right thing by the people that they have been elected to serve,” she said.
“My level of frustration is just continuing (to grow) but more importantly, my faith in the current government is substantially diminished.”
Maurice Blackburn, the law firm representing the victims, argued Seqwater should be liable for 50 per cent of damages, Sunwater for 25 per cent and the state itself 25 per cent.
The damages hearing is yet to be finalised, but Ms Mason said the case should never have ended up in court and that the State Government should have “done the right thing” and paid victims compensation much earlier.
The Government has said it will not appeal the decision on the class action but would refrain from further comment until other matters related to the case were determined by the courts.