Only $512,000 of the amount was for the actual loss by reference to the freehold value of the land. $2.8 Million was awarded for lost traditional attachment. $1,300,000 for loss caused by a loss of traditional attachment to the land); and $1,488,261 for interest.
That compensation for lost traditional attachment could exceed freehold value is something that I and others have been advising and predicting for years. It is right and proper that the removal of religious, cultural, medicinal and sustenance resources that traditional lands brought to hunter gathering societies is valued as more than “land value”
But where such compensation is now given, or available the people or group who have received it should be required to make first call on their own finances rather than the social security safety net and other economic benefits and grant systems.
Since the first Federal Court Gove Peninsula case found that there was “no Native Title” in Australia in 1971 there have been massive changes.
Successive state and federal governments have variously introduced overlapping land rights laws, Native Title Act Claims laws, Heritage land trust grants, Indigenous Land and Business Funds and a wide variety of compensation schemes.
We know that at least $6 billion a year is spent on aboriginal “issues” but no one knows how much or on what exactly or whether it is well spent.
Only 70,000 aboriginal Australians are living on indigenous lands. The balance of 480,000 are either in employment and living lives not noticeably different from the rest of Australia or are welfare dependent and live in urban and regional areas with other welfare dependent Australians;
How many people are getting the $3.3 million for loss of just 23 square kilometers of land.
In ordinary Australia when a person or persons gets compensation for a loss then they have to pay back to social security what they have received. If a motor vehicle accident puts you off work and you receive social security while not working you have to pay it back when compensation is received.
Now that 3.3 million has been received in compensation for loss of land surely that money must be spent by the recipients before they can call on tax payer grants.
It is not suggested that they should be liable to back pay social security – like others would have to – but surely they have no call on the public purse now they can pay their own way.