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ACT and NSW governments to be sued over 2003 fires

By Thumper 1 March 2010 44

As we all know, the 2003 fires happened a long, long time ago, in fact for me it now seems to be a lifetime ago. And yet we see that more than 600 plaintiffs, including victims and insurance companies, will take a case to the ACT Supreme Court on Monday for compensation regarding the fires.

Whereas I agree that much more could have been done, and that our ACT government appeared quite incompetent during the fires, one must ask, is it not time to move on?

[Ed] Housebound also submitted but is seeing the other side of the coin, see below.

No matter how much the ACT Government tries to move on from the 2003 bushfires, another day of reckononing has finally arrived.

The government must have thought it was over after the Doogan inquiry, the appeal against it (which the government effectively lost apart from one or two minor points); and then the NRMA withdrew from the action. The ACT and NSW Governments have vigorously opposed the actions in an attempt to keep them out of court, but all to no avail. Now, seven years on, the matter still has as much life as ever.

The judge has put years of jursidictional dodging to rest with this gem: “It was a fire. It did damage. It does not matter if it started in NSW or New Zealand. I do not see why there needs to be ownership of the fire,” he said. “The real question is who had the responsibility to avoid the damage.”

So, today is the first day of the court hearings. All respect is due to those who haven’t given up.

What’s Your opinion?


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44 Responses to
ACT and NSW governments to be sued over 2003 fires
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peterh 1:42 pm 15 Mar 10

Clown Killer said :

With insurance you get what you pay for. hunt around for the cheapest quote and you’ll get the biggest kick up the ar$e when it comes to making a claim. Regular assessments of your property by quanity surveyors and experienced builders in consultation with your insurer will generall see you properly insured. If you buy your insurance over the phone or over the internet then you get what you deserve.

Uninsured and under-insured so-called victims of the 2003 fires should just go and take a cold shower … wait … can you hear that? … it’s the worlds smallest violin and it’s playing just for you!

we moved on and tried to forget the fires, there were periods where we were reminded – driving around to my father’s house in the first few months was a bit confronting, especially when I remembered in my mind’s eye what his house looked like before, and the ash strewn tatters that were left.

Regardless of whether people were underinsured or not insured at all, The ACT government was responsible for the safety of its citizenry, and they let us all down badly. There are a lot of what ifs – but the simple fact is that they refused assistance from other quarters, including the airport water tankers, and South Canberra burned.

I wrote on my experience in my own blog, those of you who know me have either read it or have heard about it from me, but I am not linking it here. CK, you and I were very lucky. I was living in Kambah at the time, and my house remained after the fires had passed.

Many of my friends and family weren’t so fortunate, and regardless of the levels of insurance, they either moved closer in to the city, or re-built their houses with a couple of modifications – no trees, for one. large areas of decomp granite, very little shrubs. They wanted to feel safe in their homes.

Nothing can replace my grandfather’s mementos, the antique jewellery of my grandmother’s or my father’s prized staff ring that he bought from a jeweller – it was a very large military college ring that was worn by one of General Macarthur’s aides. These are all lost forever. The clothes, the furniture, the memories are now gone to ash and dust.

If these people want to blame someone, and they feel that there is a case for them, let them. You want them to get over it and move on, let them do it in their own way.

Holden Caulfield 10:47 am 11 Mar 10

@#38 Ouch! It would appear that that statement is based on fact, and, if so, you can see precisely why there are some people not prepared to “get over it”.

sloppery 10:27 am 11 Mar 10

s-s-a said :

Holy cr*p I just read the link. That is appalling.

I also read the link. Pretty amazing.

s-s-a 11:23 pm 10 Mar 10

Holy cr*p I just read the link. That is appalling.

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