Latest News

newsweathercommunity_7xs_showbanner.jpg

Oakey class action a step closer

A class action lawsuit over chemical contamination in the Queensland town of Oakey is a step closer after Australia's largest litigation funder, IMF Bentham, agreed to provide financial backing.

The lawsuit, being led by Shine Lawyers Principal Peter Shannon, will be brought against the Department of Defence over contamination caused by chemicals used in firefighting foam at a nearby army base.

Mr Shannon said the town had been treated with "callous disregard" by the commonwealth after two years of negotiation, including a direct recommendation from a Senate inquiry that residents be compensated.

"This agreement will provide the security and backing residents need in their fight for fair compensation and will enable us to carry a case of this magnitude through the courts," he said on Thursday.

Toxic firefighting foam has been leaching into the ground and water around defence sites across the country, including the Oakey Army Aviation base.

Queensland has already banned foam containing pollutants, including perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

The town's Chamber of Commerce last month warned the ongoing saga was stopping investment and unfairly tarnishing Oakey as "toxic".

The IMF agreement will indemnify litigant members against liability for the defendant's legal costs should the claim be unsuccessful.

The majority of legal costs associated with bringing the action would be borne by IMF, with the rest being carried by Shine, Mr Shannon said.

© AAP 2016

You may also like...

Class action filed over Takata airbags

Class action filed over Takata airbags

Lawyers are filing an open class action against three car manufacturers over their role in the defective Takata airbag scandal. The Federal Court...

Teen sets off capsicum spray in Qld home

Teen sets off capsicum spray in Qld home

A 16-year-old girl is under police investigation for setting off suspected capsicum spray inside a Townsville home, hospitalising a family of...

Drug seizures in postal crackdown

Drug seizures in postal crackdown

(AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) More than 80kg of illicit drugs in hundreds of packets sent through the post have been seized in a nation-wide...

Hobart crash not guilty plea

Hobart crash not guilty plea

The man accused of the Hobart hit and run car crash that killed Vanessa Hayward on June 22nd has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter. After a police...