Murrindindi Black Saturday bush fires class action (2013-2015)


Led the legal team representing the plaintiff class, instructed by Maurice Blackburn representing victims of the 2009 Victorian Black Saturday bush fires in Rowe v Ausnet Electricity Services & Ors (formerly Liesfield v SP Ausnet) Supreme Court of Victoria.

The class action in the Supreme Court of Victoria sought damages resulting from the Murrindindi bush fires that killed 40 individuals and destroyed property and businesses. Claims by the class were for personal injuries, dependency claims, property and economic loss and property damage.

The case concerned the cause of the fires including the operation and maintenance of electricity transmission assets by Ausnet and its inspection consultants and the failure of State parties to warn communities of the progress of the fires.

The parties agreed to settle on 6 February 2015 for the sum of $300M. The application for the Court’s approval of the Murrindindi bushfire class action settlement was heard before Justice Emerton on 13 and 14 May 2015, with her Honour approving the settlement application on 27 May 2015.

See media release