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Court begins hearing Brisbane floods case

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The Brisbane floods class action started today in the NSW Supreme Court, and will proceed for two weeks before resuming in February, law firm Maurice Blackburn says.

The action seeks compensation for losses and damage caused by the January 2011 floods.

Studies following the flood – including one commissioned from independent hydrologists by the Insurance Council of Australia – said releases from Wivenhoe Dam raised water levels in the Brisbane River by up to 10 metres and was the “principal immediate cause” of the riverine flood.

Maurice Blackburn Class Action Principal Rebecca Gilsenan says the trial “will demonstrate that the dam operators did not operate the dam during the flood event in accordance with the operation manual they themselves wrote, and the consequence of that was unnecessary devastation across southeast Queensland”.

The Queensland Bulk Water Supply Authority, which trades as Seqwater, is the first defendant in the class action.

SunWater and the State of Queensland are the second and third defendants.