Black Saturday Bushfire class action

Published: 26 Jun 2009

More than 700 people affected by the Black Saturday bushfire in the Kinglake area have registered as members of a class action against power company SP Ausnet.

MUA union members were among those affected, and contributed around $160,000 to the relief and recovery of our fellow Victorians.

Maurice Blackburn and Slidders Lawyers have mounted the class action alleging the Singaporean power company failed in its maintenance of a powerline which allegedly caused the Kilmore East and Kinglake fire that also swept through Clonbinane, Saint Andrews, Flowerdale, Hazeldene, Pheasant Creek, Glenburn, Steels Creek, Dixons Creek, Yarra Glen, Toolangi and surrounding areas on 7 February and the following days.

Maurice Blackburn Chairman and head of class actions Bernard Murphy said anyone who had suffered property loss, a physical or psychological injury, or who were the dependents or estates of people who died as a result of the fire could register to be part of the class action, which was being run on a no win, no pay basis. Group members could not be ordered to pay the other side's costs if the action was unsuccessful.

"Class actions allow the victims of mass wrongs to band together to better protect their rights, and by protecting their rights they also better protect the rights of others in the future," Mr Murphy said.

"Nothing can bring back the people lost in the bushfires, but this class action may go some way towards helping the survivors gain justice for what happened, and any financial outcome may help people through the recovery and rebuilding processes."

For more information about the class action and to register an interest, go to the Maurice Blackburn website or contact the firm on their bushfire class action free call line 1800 99 55 70.



Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney