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National law firm Slater and Gordon has announced it is retaining victims of the 2011 floods in south east Queensland for a possible class action as evidence continues to mount against the operators of the Wivenhoe dam.
General Manager of the Commercial and Project Litigation group, James Higgins, said the move follows months of investigations into the Wivenhoe dam releases in January 2011 and talks with the Flood Affected Businesses and Households Association (FABAH).
“Following the release of the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry interim report in August last year Slater and Gordon had been investigating the possibility of a class action arising from flagrant breaches of the Wivenhoe Dam manual by the operators of the dam,” Mr Higgins said.
“Our view, which has been strengthened by additional evidence given to the Inquiry in the past week, is that victims of the floods have a real chance of succeeding in a class action against the operators of the dam.
"We have been meeting with FABAH and investigating the key issue of what outcome would have been achieved had the dam operators actually complied with the manual.
"Recent evidence has confirmed our view that the stated transition through strategies by the operators during the peak of the floods was a retrospective attempt to justify poor and flawed management of the dam during those crucial days.
"While the failure to comply with the manual removes the legislative shield against a class action, the key issue remains the significant task of modelling what alternate outcome would have been achieved had the dam operator complied with the manual.
“This has been the focus of our investigations,” Mr Higgins said.
Slater and Gordon will await the findings of the Commission of Inquiry before commencing any litigation.
Victims who wish to register their interest can contact Slater and Gordon on 1800 555 777.