Redland City Council acknowledges the Court of Appeal’s recent decision in relation to the class action against Council regarding historic canal and lake maintenance charges.
The decision affects a small number of canal and lakefront property owners who paid special charges between 2011 and 2017 for Council to carry out canal and lake maintenance works and repairs to revetment walls bordering canal properties.
The monies being sought by the plaintiffs is that already spent by Council to deliver these works.
Council believes the canal and lakefront class action plaintiffs would effectively benefit twice from this decision.
Having already benefitted from the works undertaken with special charge funding, the return of these funds would further benefit the plaintiffs at the expense of other ratepayers.
Council is also aware that in a class action lawsuit, a significant portion of any funds awarded goes to the solicitors and class action funder, with class action plaintiffs usually receiving only a small portion.
In this case, a significant portion of any funds awarded will go to the solicitors and overseas class action funder.
Council acknowledges that the Raby Bay Ratepayers Association and Aquatic Paradise Residents Association have supported Council and advocated for class action members to opt-out of the claim.
Council’s historical error was due to not including in its special charges overall plan between 2011 and 2017 the estimated cost of carrying out maintenance works or defining an end date for the works.
In 2021, the Supreme Court accepted that Council had, several years ago and on its own undertaking after an internal review, returned to canal and lakefront ratepayers approximately $8 million of special charges collected for, but not yet spent on, the canals and lake. This figure included interest.
For more information, please visit Council’s website or past media releases on Council’s special charges refund process and the introduction of the canal and lake estates’ special levy.