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High Court upholds ratepayer Victory in Redland City Council Class Action

Redlands ratepayers have had the decisions of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal upheld by the High Court today which found Redland City Council had no statutory authority to impose special levies on its constituents in 2011-2017.

Redland Council advised in March 2017, that the canal maintenance levy that it imposed on ratepayers in Redlands was invalid. Whilst the Council refunded part of the monies raised, Shine Lawyers commenced proceedings on behalf of ratepayers to recover the remaining amount. 

“This is a proud win for over 900 Redlands ratepayers who had their voices heard and recognised by the highest court in the country,” said Shine Lawyers joint head of class actions, Vicky Antzoulatos. 

“Ratepayers will now have money put back in their pockets, where it belongs.” 

“Today, we remind councils of the importance of transparency with their constituents,” she said. 

972 canal and lakefront property owners are owed a full refund for the invalidly raised levies plus interest and costs. The Council argued that despite the fact that the levy was invalid, ratepayers nonetheless received value by way of services performed by the Council. This argument was rejected by the High Court.


  • Shine Lawyers filed the class action on behalf of ratepayers in 2018 and was successful in the Supreme Court of Queensland on 13 September 2021.

  • The case was appealed by Redland City Council on 8 October 2021 and was heard by the Court of Appeal on 4 April, 2022. 

  • On 26 August 2022, the Court of Appeal ((McMurdo, Boddice and Callaghan JJ) dismissed the Council’s appeal, finding that the decision to repay monies should stand.

  • On 17 March 2023, the Council was granted special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia. The appeal was heard in Canberra on 13 and 14 September 2023.

  • Judgment was delivered by the High Court this morning in favour of the plaintiffs. The High Court is Australia’s highest court.

To be eligible to join the class action, you must have lived in the Redland local government area and been subject to a special levy in relation to canal/waterways maintenance including marina special charges in the period from 2011 to 2017. 

The class action was funded by Augusta Ventures. 

"Augusta is very happy to have partnered with the claimants and Shine Lawyers to bring this matter before the courts. It’s a simple fact – without access to funders and law firms who understand and are prepared to shoulder the risk which are inherent with these complex group action claims, then the claimants will not be heard," said Augusta’s Chief Executive Officer, Louis Young.

To learn more: Redlands Ratepayer Class Action | Shine Lawyers

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