TOXIC TRUTH: Defence rejects red zone compensation claim

A Salt Ash business owner has become the first resident of the Williamtown contamination zone to have a compensation claim rejected by the Department of Defence.

Robert Roseworne has been told by Defence counsel that his claim – over a downturn in trade – can not be assessed because he is a member of the class action against the Department. 

The class action is seeking compensation for economic losses affecting its members. 

Mr Roseworne said it was disappointing after the public was told each claim would be assessed on its “merit”. He claimed his solicitors had also advised him there was no conflict between his personal claim and the class action.

“If you lose everything you’ve worked for, then your purpose for continuing goes out the door too,” he said. 

He feared he would struggle to stay afloat financially while waiting for the outcome of the class action, which could take years.

”The perception of customers is that dealing with people in this area is not safe and that is without dispute.”