The Queensland Government has today announced that in August it will introduce legislation to allow class actions to be conducted in the State’s Courts.

Procedural rules in Queensland presently do not provide for the conduct of class actions in the State, forcing prospective claimants to commence proceedings in Courts in other jurisdictions, such as the New South Wales and Victorian Supreme Courts and the Federal Court of Australia.

This announcement follows a number of high-profile, Queensland related class actions being commenced in other jurisdictions. These include class actions relating to the operation of the Wivenhoe and Somerset dams during the 2011 Queensland floods (commenced in the NSW Supreme Court), the Clem7 tunnel (commenced in the Federal Court) and the Bank of Queensland (commenced in the Federal Court).

The design and take-up of the Queensland regime is sure to be closely followed by participants in Australia’s class action industry, including law firms, litigation funders and potential defendants.