Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Avani Terraces - Greenway
Life is looking up

Bushfire litigation pushes ever further out

By johnboy - 27 July 2010 13

The ABC brings word that resolution of the dim and distant 2003 bushfires litigation has receded even further.

Today the hearing was adjourned until October to allow the parties to resolve procedural issues and categorise more than 700 plaintiff documents into historical and operational evidence, including who was present during the fires and what their role was.

Justice Higgins says the court backlog may ease with the appointment of new acting judges, but their time is likely to be dominated by jury trials.

The NSW and ACT Government 12-week defence will begin on April 4 and more than 80 witness statements have been prepared.

One wonders if anyone will live long enough to see the end of it.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
13 Responses to
Bushfire litigation pushes ever further out
Madame Workalot 9:19 am 29 Jul 10

colourful sydney racing identity said :

If it is not about determining liability in order to get compensation then what is it all about?

I think it has numerous purposes. Accountability, transparency, a chance to improve the way government and others deal with things, a chance for a community or an individual to find answers. I guess in a way, I look at it as a private coronial inquest. But who knows – maybe I’m not being cynical enough about human motivation….

sexynotsmart said :

Madame Workalot said :

Stop being an armchair legal expert.

Not my words.

The fires were a freak event. The weather was terrible. I don’t think the community was liable for anyone’s losses. So yes, they should cease.

FYI my house almost went. We lost fences, a shed, pergola and shadecloth, cubbyhouses, swings and all the gardens. And I’m not party to this action.

The key words there are ‘I don’t think…’. That’s my point – just because you don’t think the community was liable, doesn’t mean everyone agrees with you. The whole point of the action is to determine if the government was liable. What would you prefer, in matters like this or the Katie Bender tragedy, the government just do a community survey to determine liability? The issue of liability is a question of law – that is why it is properly being dealt with in a court room.

And as for you not being part of the action, while I’m sure that’s worked out well for you it doesn’t give you any more or less authority to have an opinion on the topic. I’m sorry you lost so much, but I don’t really see how it’s relevant to the topic at hand.

sexynotsmart 6:31 pm 28 Jul 10

Madame Workalot said :

Stop being an armchair legal expert.

Not my words.

The fires were a freak event. The weather was terrible. I don’t think the community was liable for anyone’s losses. So yes, they should cease.

FYI my house almost went. We lost fences, a shed, pergola and shadecloth, cubbyhouses, swings and all the gardens. And I’m not party to this action.

colourful sydney rac 4:32 pm 28 Jul 10

If it is not about determining liability in order to get compensation then what is it all about?

Madame Workalot 4:09 pm 28 Jul 10

I don’t believe so – damages are a secondary matter that are determined only to make reparation for loss incurred as a result of liability.

Almost like the chicken and the egg argument 🙂

colourful sydney rac 3:39 pm 28 Jul 10

Madame Workalot said :

It’s not about insurance though, that’s the thing – it’s about determining if there was any fault on the part of the government, and whether the ACT and NSW government adequately met their duty of care to the citizens of Canberra. Damages has absolutely nothing to do with it at this stage – liability has got to be determined first.

Isn’t the whole point of determining liabilty to find out whether damages should be paid?

Madame Workalot 3:21 pm 28 Jul 10

Thumper said :

Wow, that hit a raw nerve.

Not a raw nerve, I just think that the government must have something to answer for if it’s come this far. Personally, I also think it’s a bit rich thinking people were somehow inadequate and that’s why they lost houses/got injured etc, but let’s not go there 🙂

colourful sydney racing identity said :

surely if they were not adequately insured it is their own fault?

It’s not about insurance though, that’s the thing – it’s about determining if there was any fault on the part of the government, and whether the ACT and NSW government adequately met their duty of care to the citizens of Canberra. Damages has absolutely nothing to do with it at this stage – liability has got to be determined first.

colourful sydney rac 12:38 pm 28 Jul 10

surely if they were not adequately insured it is their own fault?

Thumper 12:28 pm 28 Jul 10

Wow, that hit a raw nerve.

Outta Control 12:11 pm 28 Jul 10

I got sunburn during the summer of 1999. Also I hit my thumb with a hammer during the 2004 election campaign. Now can I join this lawyer’s picnic?

Madame Workalot 12:01 pm 28 Jul 10

Seven years before the case gets before a judge is not a particularly long time in civil litigation Thumper….

So, you know for a fact that every single one of those plaintiffs involved were ‘inadequate’ in some way, which led to their loss? Get over yourself.

Thumper 9:06 am 28 Jul 10

The hearing will determine whether NSW or ACT authorities, or both, are liable for damages from the 2003 Canberra bushfires which killed 4 people and destroyed 500 homes.

Maybe I should sue for PTSD, but really, that would just be petty and stupid.

Yes, the ACT and NSW authorities made a lot of mistakes, almost to the point where you could say they may have be neglegent, and some ACT ministers seemed to bury their collective heads in the sand, but seriously, it was seven years ago and everyone else seems to have been able to rebuild their lives and move on.

One would think that all the litigants are thinking of is how much money they can screw out of anyone they deem somehow involved.

Man up, move on, stop blaming everyone else for your own inadequacies.

Madame Workalot 8:45 am 28 Jul 10

Sexynotsmart – So just because you don’t agree with their action, they should cease?

The whole point of the action is to determine if either government was liable for losses during that period. If you had lost what some people lost during the fires, you’d be looking for answers too. And as for your comment about injustice in the world – if the plaintiffs are successful, is that not an injustice?

Perhaps the community should do the right thing by the litigants and support them in trying to close the final chapter in this horrific saga.

Stop being an armchair legal expert.

sexynotsmart 9:15 pm 27 Jul 10

What a waste. Think of all the injustice in the world, and know that people are funding this.

Litigants should do the right thing by their community and cease their action.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site