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Help For Injured Wildlife

In Vic phone R.A.C.V. - 13 11 11
Help For Wildlife 0417 380 687
Wildlife Victoria 13 000 94535


Do not try and give the orphaned wildlife a drink or a feed, as it may cause problems.

Monday, 4 March, 2013

Day one – Kinglake-Kilmore East bushfire trial begins

After patiently waiting more than four years, victims of the devastating 2009 Victorian Black Saturday bushfire through Kinglake-Kilmore East today finally got their day in court.

In what is expected to be one of the biggest trials of 2013 on almost any measure, the trial began today in front of Justice Jack Forrest in the Supreme Court’s newly constructed courtroom in the William Cooper Justice Centre.

The trial is set to run for six to nine months, with more than 7500 claimants that are registered with Maurice Blackburn seeking compensation for personal injury and losses that are expected to total into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Counsel for the class action members, Robert Richter QC, made his opening statements today, outlining the case against SP Ausnet, highlighting;

  • SP Ausnet ignored their own policy of fitting $6 vibration dampeners to lines over 300 metres long (the line in question was over one kilometre long) and those dampeners would have prevented the line from breaking;

  • SP Ausnet had a woefully inadequate and unacceptable policy of running their powerlines to the point of failure before replacing them, and had a proper asset management policy been in place the fire wouldn’t have occurred;

  • SP Ausnet allowed a broken, fallen line to remain electrified and to shoot out four separate bursts of electricity, sparking vegetation to flame; and,

  • Previous inspections of the line in question were inadequate and should have identified faults with the line that needed addressing.

Lead plaintiff for the class action, Carol Matthews, was in court today, but is not expected to have to give evidence this week.

Media inquiries:

Cameron Scott at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers 0400 876 466
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Twitter @wefightforfair