Embattled online sports clothing retailer Surfstitch's woes have worsened, with shareholders launching a class action in the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Former WA premier Colin Barnett says there has been an almost hysterical response to his comments that the state is at risk of another WA Inc scandal.

A father and son have escaped a house fire in Hobart sparked by a wood heater, prompting authorities to issue a winter safety warning.