Brisbane flood victims awarded $440m settlement over Wivenhoe Dam disaster

Conservatives built a dam that should have ended Brisbane floods. But a Leftist government misused it catastrophically. To avoid building a new dam, the Bligh government used the flood compartment to store water. So when the floods came threre was nothing to contain them

On top of that the bureaucrats in charge of the dam failed to heed danger warnings -- because it was not in their manual. They killed a lot of people. An early discharge could have kept the flood within bounds. Morons all round

Almost 7000 people in a class action will be paid $440 million in a landmark settlement with the Queensland Government and SunWater, the dam’s operator.

The figure – the largest-ever in a class action in Australia – was announced to the ASX today by litigator funder Omni Bridgeway.

“This has been a hard-fought and extremely difficult case on behalf of approximately 6700 claimants, against determined defendants over many years,” Omni Bridgeway said.

Releases from the Wivenhoe Dam in January 2011 saw water levels rise up to 10 metres. Hydrologists determined the releases were the main cause of flooding in the riverine area of Brisbane.

The class action lawsuit represented some 6700 victims of the disaster.

SunWater and the Queensland Government have settled to split a 50 per cent share of the liability for the class action.

Another state owned enterprise, Seqwater, has not settled with the claimants, the statement from Omni Bridgeway said. Seqwater has been allocated the remaining 50 per cent liability for the disaster.

“Seqwater has been allocated 50% of the aggregate liability” by the NSW Supreme Court in the first instance, the statement said. The enterprise plans to appeal the finding in May 2021.

However, based on the current allocation of Seqwater’s 50 per cent liability, Omni Bridgeway estimate the claimants currently look to settle with the parties with a total value of $880 million.

The class action suit was previously estimated to reach a settlement between $130 to $170 million.

In light of the settlement, Omni Bridgeway said they now consider the previous upper level estimate to be “conservative”.

The settlement comes a decade after the 2011 Brisbane floods, which affected more than 200,000 people and caused $2.38 billion worth of damage.

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