October 29, 2017 / 10:24 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-IMF Bentham to fund lawsuit against Australian gov't alleging water contamination

(Adds details on nature of contamination, background)

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Australian litigation financier IMF Bentham Ltd said on Monday it would fund a class-action lawsuit against the Australian Department of Defence in relation to allegations of water contamination.

The company said in a statement the class action against the government related to alleged drinking-water supply contamination in the Northern Territory town of Katherine, at the outskirts of which the Department of Defence runs the Tindal air force base.

The contamination is alleged to have been caused by the department’s use of firefighting foam at the base, IMF added.

The Department of Defence had no immediate comment.

IMF said it was taking registrations from individuals interested in participating in the class action, and that property owners and businesses affected by the contamination were eligible to participate.

The lawsuit would be funded through its Australian investment arms, the company said.

Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Byron Kaye and Peter Cooney

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