A Katherine resident has won a Federal Court hearing to complain about ongoing delays to the town's PFAS $92.5 million compensation payout.
Justice Peter Lee has agreed to hold a case management hearing on the issue in Sydney on Tuesday morning.
Katherine South resident Peter Stork says the payout has taken too long.
Justice Lee signed orders for the settlement on June 5.
The Defence Department agreed in February to settle the class action claims from Katherine, Oakey and Williamtown.
Mr Stork said the ongoing delays in arrangement the settlement meant it could be a year after the decision before Katherine residents saw any of the money.
The basis of the legal action was that "contamination by PFAS has negatively impacted business and land values in Katherine".
The chemicals were contained in fire fighting foams used mainly in training at the base from 1988 to 2004.
As many as 2500 Katherine property owners, and at the last minute the Katherine Town Council, sought compensation from Defence for the falls in property values across the town which has come from the PFAS contamination.
The court appointed Shine Lawyers, who had taken the class action forward for Katherine, as settlement administrators.
Shine Lawyers told Katherine Times last month checks were continuing on the details of each resident who stayed in the action, their details were held by the litigation funder Omni Bridgeway.
In documents filed to the court, Mr Stork pointed out Shine Lawyers advised residents the "distribution statements" would be sent out in "early September".
These statements would provide the actual amounts to be paid in compensation to residents, and after that, there would be a period where people could challenge the amounts, and ask for a review.
Depending on the number of challenges, and there are a large number of individual claims, the actual payout would be further delayed.
Mr Stork said he contacted Omni Bridgeway on October 12 querying the "breach of commitment" to provide distribution statements by early September.
"In a series of back and forth email correspondence to Omni Bridgeway up to October 23, we have had vague promises for receipt of the Distribution Statement by December 2020 and that payments would be received three months later," Mr Stork has advised the court.
"This scenario suggests that we will receive payment close to a year after the date of orders by Justice Lee. We believe this is an unjustified delay in settlement and that the administrators are acting in an unaccountable way."
Mr Stork said the litigation funders Omni said the large number of claimants was the cause of the delay.
"However, the majority of claimants were already registered and administered previously making this excuse questionable. Moreover, if the Settlement Administrators believed that keeping to their commitments and expediting settlement was in the best interests of their clients, they would have ensured the workload was better resourced."
"We therefore respectfully request the Honourable Justice Lee intervene in this matter on behalf of the claimants."
Katherine residents were also able to register for the successful PFAS class action well after the original closing date which has been the cause of local controversy.
Justice Michael Lee said in June claims had even been received at the start of a two-day hearing into the proposed settlement deal.
Earlier estimates of payments vary widely depending on location, size of the property and whether they have a bore or not and have been the source of a lot of discussion in town.
There are also some residents who have approached Shine Lawyers on discovering they were not registered for the claim.
Residents wanting to view Tuesday's hearing can do so through an online link by emailing Nicholas Carey at the court at Associate.LeeJ@fedcourt.gov.au on Monday.
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