Two defendants have agreed to settle on a class action lodged following 2011’s devastating floods
Two defendants have agreed to settle on a class action lodged following 2011’s devastating floods

BREAKING: Record $440M payout for 2011 flood victims

A RECORD $440 million is set to be paid to 6500 victims of the devastating 2011 floods after settlement was reached by two defendants this week.

Queensland Government and SunWater agreed to the record payout on Friday following a years-long class action over the negligent operation of Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams.

Maurice Blackburn first lodged the class action in 2014.

The development means that 50 per cent of claims have now been settled, 10 years on from the tragic event.

Seqwater did not agree to the settlement.

RELATED: LAWYERS: Real justice ‘long way off’ for 2011 flood victims

Photos from the 2011 floods in Ipswich.
Photos from the 2011 floods in Ipswich.

The dam authority will continue to appeal to an NSW Supreme Court decision made in 2019 that it had failed to operate the dams properly or take in to account rainfall forecasts when releasing water.

The matter is expected to be heard again next year.

Maurice Blackburn Principal Rebecca Gilsenan said the settlement followed a long and arduous legal battle for flood victims.

READ MORE: We want action: Flood victims’ plea to the state government

“It has now been ten years since the Brisbane and Ipswich floods, so this settlement is a very welcome development that we hope will bring some much-needed closure to our clients, who have had to endure significant uncertainty and frustration while the defendants fought this case at every turn,” Ms Gilsenan said.

“Of course, complete closure can only happen for our clients when Seqwater also settles or Seqwater’s appeal is finalised.

Clean up efforts in the lower CBD of Ipswich following 2011’s floods. Pic :Adam Smith
Clean up efforts in the lower CBD of Ipswich following 2011’s floods. Pic :Adam Smith

She said the class action would continue to fight the latest appeal.

The settlement is subject to approval by the NSW Supreme Court and agreement on terms.

An approval hearing likely to take place before the appeal starts in May.

Ms Gilsenan said the settlement was a “complex and hard-fought litigation.”

“By bringing a class action, thousands of flood victims were able to come together to access the justice system with the financial support of a litigation funder,” Ms Gilsenan said.

“Our clients would never have been able to run a case of this scale without the class actions mechanism to recover what they have lost.”

Read more stories by Kaitlyn Smith here.