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Call for class action

Tuesday, 5th January, 2016

Local solicitor Rachel Storey has put up her hand to investigate the viabilty of taking legal action over the mishandling of Menindee Lakes system. PICTURE: Darrin Manuel Local solicitor Rachel Storey has put up her hand to investigate the viabilty of taking legal action over the mishandling of Menindee Lakes system. PICTURE: Darrin Manuel

By Erica Visser

A local lawyer has resolved to help residents calling for class action over the state government’s controversial draining of the Menindee Lakes two years ago.

The decision to release water from the system had never been adequately explained by state authorities, triggering local outrage which heightened with the water crisis.

Solicitor Rachel Storey will meet with water advocates this week to discuss the potential to take legal action against the state government and Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA).

Ms Storey yesterday said that she would take on what would be a major and highly technical case if it proved viable.

“As a Broken Hill resident I’d do anything to help. I’m very concerned about what’s going on,” Ms Storey told BDT yesterday.

“I will have to speak with (local advocates) to discuss the way they’d like to take this, do some research into it and wait and see what legal remedies are available.” 

Ms Storey had limited experience in this area of law but says she once worked for a Melbourne-based firm which dealt with cases involving class action.

“I’d only (charge a fee) if I were successful,” she said.

However, if it were decided to go ahead with proceedings, she planned to seek out advice from a QC.

Tom Kennedy, who floated the idea on the We Want Action Facebook page, said the aim of any legal action would be to hold state authorities accountable.

“Without a doubt people are feeling powerless and that is what’s frustrating everyone,” Mr Kennedy said.

“People have thousands of dollars tied up in their gardens, their household appliances.

“We shouldn’t be in the position we’re in.”

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