Queensland Law Society

Court closures, affected areas and assistance

Dear members

Skies across south-east Queensland are blue and sunny today, however, many are still feeling the after effects of Cyclone Debbie’s aftermath, specifically on the Gold Coast and in our more regional areas. There are numerous suburbs with power outages and other issues associated with flooding, dangerous winds and the storm in general.

I would like to specifically note my hometown on the Gold Coast for those that are able to still keep work flowing. As you will know, many roads are flooded meaning staff are unable to get to work. I applaud our firms for allowing staff to work flexibly and I thank the employees for their dedication to work remotely.

I would like to take the time thank you all once again for your patience in dealing with firms that have been affected. QLS has already received emails from firms advising that they either cannot attend their office or have been affected with power outages and the like. To those firms I urge you to stay safe and take the necessary steps to ensure that your office recovers as smoothly as possible. Our thoughts and best wishes are with you.

I promised to keep you updated as the situation progressed, and you will find updates on court closures below:

  • Beaudesert Magistrates Court is closed today
  • Beenleigh Magistrates Court is open until further notice but note the suburb is flooded in parts so keep checking for updates
  • Bowen, Moranbah, Proserpine and Taroom Magistrates Courts remain closed today
  • Coolangatta Magistrates Court is open and continuing business as usual
  • Tweeds Heads Court Registry is open but only offering limited Registry services today
  • Lismore Court Registry is closed today.

For more information see the Queensland Courts website and the New South Wales local courts website. (Please note that this information is current at 10am 31 March 2017. Please ensure you check the mentioned websites for updates.) QLS will continue to post updates to our social media channels as we become aware of them.

Please note that parts of the Northern Gold Coast including Ormeau, Yatala and Pimpama are being evacuated due to the rising Albert River. Stay vigilant and up to date with the Queensland Police Service via twitter or facebook. Lives are more important than belongings so please stay safe.

Please also keep in mind that public transport has been affected which may affect both staff and clients in their commutes. You may also find businesses and banks to still be closed or uncontactable. Schools are also closed again today. Again, I ask you to please extend professional courtesy in your daily dealings while our state recovers.

I would like to repeat the options available to you for assistance if you or your practice did suffer in some way:

  • Law Foundation Queensland if you require information about interest free loans to assist with recovery through their Benevolent Fund.
  • Queensland Law Society’s website for guidance on what to do if your firm has been affected by flooding or extreme weather conditions.
  • Lexon Insurance’s website if they are your insurer.
  • LawCare if you require any assistance with counselling, advice on how to help others or assistance with developing plans to manage issues and challenges. Please remember that QLS members, their staff and families do have access to up to six hours of free counselling each year through LawCare.

If you have been affected personally in your home, you can visit Queensland Government’s Get Ready Website for further information. You can also contact your local Federal Member’s office or visit their websites or social media channels for further information on what assistance is offered in your area.

The Queensland Government have also announced a Community Recovery Hotline – 1800 173 349 that is live for information or for assistance.

Applications for financial assistance can be made online through www.communityrecovery.qld.gov.au. Stay up to date via their website.

The Insurance Council of Australia has stated that insurers are ready to assist policy holders. They advise those affected to lodge a claim as soon as they can. You can visit them on twitter or their website for further information and updates.

Queensland Law Society is open for business as usual today.

I and the team at QLS will endeavour to keep you up to date with any helpful information as the situation progresses.

Stay safe,

Christine Smyth
Queensland Law Society