Water

Class action against MDBA continues

By Sophie Baldwin

A $750 million class action against the Murray-Darling Basin Authority led by irrigators in NSW and the Murray region is gaining momentum.

Lead claimant Chris Brooks said at last count there were 650 Murray general water security allocation holders signed up and he was expecting that number to increase to around 1000 now a litigation funding agreement had been signed.

"Producers do not have to make any contribution to the costs and will not be exposed to any costs in the event we lose; no win, no fee — nothing to lose, everything to gain," Mr Brooks said.

Mr Brooks said it had taken many months to compile relevant evidence and data for the class action to be successful, including an intense due diligence with the firm to fund the legal case on behalf of those involved.

“This work is complete and they are satisfied we have a very good case," he said. 

Global law firm, Squires Patton and Boggs, is managing the case, which is presently before the Supreme Court in Sydney.

Mr Brooks said the new legal team would amend the pleadings to include all the claimants (irrigators) who have recently signed up with Aqua Law with registration by September 18.

He reminded irrigators that in the event of a win, damages can only be claimed for the water owned by the irrigators who have registered as part of the class action.

“The settlement from this case will be distributed only to those irrigators who have signed up by September 18, and who hold Murray general security water entitlements.

“I encourage those not registered to do so immediately, as they have nothing to lose and everything to gain, including making the MDBA manage the water rights of the Murray into the future so we can again have a reliable water supply and become profitable again.”

Mr Brooks said he wanted to clarify that the class action was not a Southern Riverina Irrigators initiative and there was no involvement with the group whatsoever.

A representative from the litigation funder will be in Deniliquin on Tuesday, Moama and Moulamein on  Wednesday, Tocumwal on Thursday and Finley on Friday. 

For more information, phone Chris Brooks on 0419 505 404.