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.