Update: Judgment 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:
Raby Bay Tidal Works (Community Title Scheme) Special Charge;
Raby Bay Tidal Works (Non Community Title Scheme) Special Charge;
Raby Bay Marina Special Charge;
Aquatic Paradise Marina Special Charge;
Aquatic Paradise Special Charge; or
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.
On 8 October 2021, the Council filed an appeal of his Honour’s decision. The appeal was heard on 4 April 2022 in the Court of Appeal.
On 26 August 2022, Judge of Appeal, Justice McMurdo and Justices Boddice and Callaghan handed down their decision dismissing the Council’s appeal and finding that the repayment of the monies should stand.
On 17 March 2023, the Council was granted special leave of appeal to the High Court of Australia. The appeal was heard in Canberra on 13 and 14 September 2023 and the Court has reserved its judgment.
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; and
Not opted out of the class action.
If you meet this criteria, you may be entitled to compensation, and you are encouraged to register for the Redland Ratepayer Class Action.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a class action?
When Governments, large companies or institutions do the wrong thing and people are harmed or suffer loss as a result, an individual can have little to no means of bringing a legal claim.
Class actions are an important mechanism within Australia’s legal system that allow large groups of people to come together to pursue a claim collectively.
For a class action to take place, there are three criteria that need to be met:
There must be 7 or more people that have claims against the same defendant; and
The claims relate to the same or similar circumstances; and
The claim must relate to at least one common issue of law or fact.
For more information about how class actions resolve, click here.
How long do class actions take to resolve?
It can take up to several years for a class action to resolve. The time taken from case commencement through to resolution and settlement administration depends on the particular case, and the nature of the claim.
For more information about class actions and how they work, click here.
Does it cost anything to join a class action?
Shine Lawyers is committed to ensuring that everyone, regardless of their background or financial situation, has access to justice. We run our class actions in a way that means you are not exposed to any costs or financial risk, so joining a class action will cost you nothing.
When a class action is successful, the legal fees and costs to run the class action are deducted from the settlement amount that is approved by the Court. If the class action is unsuccessful, we will ensure there are no out-of-pocket costs to you.
Will my contact details be kept private?
Yes, your contact details will remain confidential and we will seek your consent before disclosing any of your personal information (including before such disclosure is required by the Court).
Shine Lawyers will only use your personal information strictly for the purpose of the legal proceedings.
Meet the Redland Ratepayer Class Action team
Shine Lawyers’ Redland Ratepayer Class Action team includes some of the firm’s most experienced litigators, solicitors and support staff. You can learn more about the team running this class action by clicking on their profile below.
Why Choose Shine Lawyers?
In successful settlements and judgments
We have secured more than $1 billion in class action settlements and judgments for our group members.
years of collective experience
Our team includes the country’s most experienced class actions experts and litigators with the skill, industry insight and dedication to deliver the best possible outcomes for deserving Australians.
dedicated class actions team members
We are proudly one of the largest class actions teams in the country. Our senior practitioners are supported by a dedicated team devoted to the complex field of class actions.