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Redland Ratepayer Class Action

Shine Lawyers has won the class action on behalf of Redlands ratepayers against the Redland City Council

Judgement delivered in favour of the plaintiffs

On 13 September 2021, his Honour Justice Bradley delivered his judgment in the hearing of the class action against the Redland City Council (the Council) in favour of the plaintiffs.

This judgment relates to all the registered owners of rateable land, including building units, in the Redland City local government area who paid the:

  1. Raby Bay Tidal Works (Community Title Scheme) Special Charge;
  2. Raby Bay Tidal Works (Non Community Title Scheme) Special Charge;
  3. Raby Bay Marina Special Charge;
  4. Aquatic Paradise Marina Special Charge;
  5. Aquatic Paradise Special Charge; or
  6. Sovereign Waters Lake Special Charge

Levied by the Redland City Council between 28 June 2011 and July 2016 (the Special Charges).

The judgment does not relate to any person who opted out of the proceedings.

In his judgment, his Honour found that:

  • the resolutions to charge the Special Charges were all non-compliant with the Local Government Regulations and as such were invalid;
  • the rates notices issued by the Council levying the Special Charges included special charges that were levied on land and unites to which those special charges did not apply; and
  • the Council is obliged to return the Special Charges it received to the persons who paid them, and to do so as soon as practicable.

The Council had 28 days to appeal his Honour’s decision. An appeal may be made on the basis that his Honour failed to properly interpret the law or otherwise failed to consider the correct law.

On 8 October 2021, the Council filed an appeal of his Honour’s decision. An appeal hearing has been set for 4 April 2022 in the Court of Appeal. Shine Lawyers will provide an update to group members once a decision on the appeal has been handed down.

What is the Redland Ratepayer Class Action about?

Redland City Council (the Council) advised in March 2017 that the canal maintenance levy it imposed on ratepayers in Redland was potentially contrary to the requirements of the Local Government Act.

While the Council has refunded part of the moneys raised, Shine Lawyers have commenced proceedings on behalf of ratepayers to recover the remaining amount. Shine Lawyers consider that the Council is liable to ratepayers for the balance of moneys raised.

The proceedings are being funded by Augusta Ventures Limited.

Can I join the Redland Ratepayer Class Action?

To be part of this 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.

If you meet this criteria, you may be entitled to compensation, and you are encouraged to register for the Redland Ratepayer Class Action.

How to register for the Redland Ratepayer Class Action

To register on a confidential, no-cost, no-obligation basis, please click the button below and fill out the form.

Sign up for the class action

Register now

If you have any questions or require any assistance in registering for the class action, please contact our Redland Ratepayer Class Action Team at [email protected] or on 1800 325 172.

Case Documents

Further Amended Claim and Statement of ClaimFirst Further Amended Defence and First Further Amended CounterclaimAmended Reply and AnswerRejoinder to Answer Replay and AnswerJudgment of Justice Bradley delivered 13 September 2021

Who is Shine Lawyers’ Class Action Team?

Shine Lawyers’ Class Action Team includes some of the firm’s most experienced solicitors and support staff. The team includes:

Common Questions

The class action is against the Redland City Council.

The class action is being brought on behalf of ratepayers for the invalidly charged amounts paid for the canal maintenance levy.

Sometimes a wrongdoing can affect more than one person. A class action is a legal case filed by a person, known as the Applicant, on behalf of themselves and a group of people, known as Members, suffering from the same wrongdoing. Class actions are either “funded” or “unfunded”.

A funded class action means that the Members do not have any out of pocket costs during the running of the claim or if the claim is unsuccessful. “Unfunded” class actions can leave Members liable for the legal costs of both running the claim and if the claim is unsuccessful. Nearly all major class actions in Australia are now “funded” actions.

Major and complex actions such as the class action are extremely expensive to run. In a funded class action, a litigation funder takes over the costs and risks associated with running the class action in return for a commercial return. The way a funded class action practically works is that the litigation funder will pay part of the law firm’s legal fees and all the outlays needed to run the class action. The litigation funder also promises to pay any costs the Court might order against the Applicant, if the class action is unsuccessful. The law firm “carries” the remainder of their charges and any costs incurred before proceedings are also part of the No Win No Fee legal services.

If the claim is unsuccessful, claimants will not have to pay anything.

If the claim is successful, the funder receives a commercial return on its investment and the lawyers are paid the balance of their fees out of the settlement funds, before distribution to the claimants.

The Court has to approve any settlement reached before it is binding. The Court itself determines whether a settlement is a fair and reasonable compromise of the claims of the class members. It will also consider the legal costs, the terms of the funding arrangement and the overall outcome. The Court can decide to alter any of those arrangements.

No. If the claim is unsuccessful, the litigation funder will become liable to pay any adverse costs on behalf of all claimants and any costs the litigation funder has paid up until that point will not have to be repaid. Regardless of the outcome, the litigation funder and Shine Lawyers will only be repaid from any settlement proceeds, not out of the claimants’ pockets.