Goodna flood victim Frank Beaumont is hesitant he will be fully compensated for his losses during the 2011 floods – Picture: Richard Walker
Goodna flood victim Frank Beaumont is hesitant he will be fully compensated for his losses during the 2011 floods – Picture: Richard Walker

CLASS ACTION PAIN: Flood victim slams latest appeal

GOODNA flood victim Frank Beaumont remains hesitant on the prospect he might soon be compensated for the trauma despite a landmark settlement by two defendants on Friday.

Speaking with the Queensland Times, he said he was "cautiously optimistic" after learning the Queensland Government and SunWater had agreed to a $440 million class action settlement.

It was revealed on Friday the two had agreed to cover a total 50 per cent of the liability.

Seqwater, which is 50 per cent liable for damages, is reportedly pushing on with its appeal.

"We have had good news before which has been deflated," Mr Beaumont said.

The 7000-strong class action was first lodged in 2014 over the alleged negligent operation of Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams in 2011.

"I'm elated that somebody has finally seen commonsense, State Government acknowledged that they were at fault some time ago, but so now have SunWater," he said.

RELATED: Record $440M payout for 2011 flood victims

An emotional Frank Beaumont following the ruling of a NSW Supreme Court in which Seqwater’s appeal was denied in 2019. Picture: file photo
An emotional Frank Beaumont following the ruling of a NSW Supreme Court in which Seqwater’s appeal was denied in 2019. Picture: file photo

Ten years on, the 78-year-old admitted he still struggled with emotional turmoil that came as direct result of the defendants' alleged negligent operation.

Sadly, Mr Beaumonth lost an estimated $300,000 in damages, as well as his marriage and family due to the stress of the event.

"I lost everything I have ever owned from 1942 to 2011," he said.

"It broke my marriage up, we had a lot of anxiety among the kids, you never forget that.

READ MORE: We want action: Flood victims' plea to the state government

READ MORE: LAWYERS: Real justice 'long way off' for 2011 flood victims

"(Financial compensation) will never erase the total anguish of what was cause because you will never forgive them for doing what they did."

Mr Beaumont said he hoped Seqwater would agree to settle amid mounting pressure following this week's development.

"I've got a feeling they will settle. It just one of those strange feelings," Mr Beaumont said.

"They're now on the out as far as the other two defendants are concerned.

 

Frank Beaumont says he suffered a marriage breakdown to former wife Sue (pictured here with daughter Jessalyn) following 2011’s floods.
Frank Beaumont says he suffered a marriage breakdown to former wife Sue (pictured here with daughter Jessalyn) following 2011’s floods.

"I think they need to get some empathy and agree with the other two parties. It's time to show some compassion."

He said he was doubtful he would be fully compensated the $300,000 should a settlement ever be reached.

"I very much doubt I will see anything like that, but some people lost a lot more, some people will put in much bigger quotes for losses that are exorbitant."

"First of all, I've got to stay alive to enjoy a bit of money if we ever get it.

"It's not like they're going to write a check out tomorrow."

A spokesman for Seqwater said in response on Friday it had formally advised the Supreme Court of New South Wales it will appeal the January 2011 class action judgment.

"Seqwater will not be making any further comments regarding the flood class action judgment while the appeal process is underway," he said.

Read more stories by Kaitlyn Smith here.


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