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Oakey PFAS Contamination Class Action

UPDATE: On 26 February 2020 Shine Lawyers reached an in-principle agreement with the Department of Defence, successfully achieving justice for Oakey residents affected by the PFAS contamination. Of the total settlement figure negotiated for landholders in Oakey, Katherine and Williamtown, $34 million was attributable to the Oakey class action. We will now seek the Federal Court’s approval for the terms of the settlement and the distribution scheme, which will determine how compensation is distributed to members of this class action.


About the class action

In 2017, Shine Lawyers launched a class action against the Commonwealth of Australia, specifically the Department of Defence, for the alleged contamination of soil and groundwater in and around Oakey due to the use of firefighting chemicals containing per- and poly- fluoroalkyls. This action was brought on behalf of over 450 individuals in the Oakey community who own, or have owned, residential and/or commercial property in the contamination area. IMF Bentham, one of Australia's largest litigation funders, is funding the Oakey case.

Shine Lawyers are seeking compensation for the economic loss suffered from a decline in value of residential, agricultural and/or business land due to the contamination. The Department of Defence has been undertaking long-term environmental investigations into the contamination of soil and groundwater in the Oakey area and have released a map identifying the investigation area. Click here to download a copy of the investigation area map.

Please note this action does not seek compensation for any personal injury claims. We will, however, continue to investigate the potential of a class action for people whose health has been adversely affected by exposure to PFAS chemicals. Class actions such as this have been run in other countries around the world for both defence force personnel and communities surrounding these bases. We hope that in time we will be able to run similar actions here in Australia for those affected.

Am I eligible to participate in the Class Action?

Registrations for this class action have closed. Shine Lawyers filed this claim on a “closed class basis” which means it is only on behalf of eligible business and property owners who entered into a litigation funding agreement with Shine Lawyers and IMF Bentham prior to 21 January 2019.

Who is Shine Lawyers' Class Action team?

Shine Lawyers' Class Action team includes some of the firm’s most experienced special counsel, solicitors and support staff, including law clerks and paralegals. The Oakey investigation team includes:

See also:


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