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 Palm Island riots payouts
Flin
 Posted: May 2 2018, 06:26 AM
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Palm Island riots payouts could attract financial 'sharks', expert warns
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Indigenous residents of Palm Island are being urged to watch out for "sharks" who will try to exploit their new-found wealth in the wake of a major legal settlement.

It was revealed on Tuesday the Queensland Government had agreed to pay $30 million to settle a class action in the Federal Court over the 2004 Palm Island riots.

Indigenous activist Lex Wotton, who was convicted of inciting the riots following the death of Cameron Doomadgee, launched the legal action in 2015

Mr Doomadgee, 36, died of massive internal injuries after he was arrested for being drunk and was then locked in a police cell, with no visible injuries at the time.

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Cameron Doomadgee died while in police custody on Palm Island in 2004. (ABC News)

The case came after the Federal Court found in November 2016 that police were racist in their response to the riot.

Mr Wotton and his family were awarded $220,000 in damages for racial discrimination in December 2016.

The money from the class action will compensate 447 claimants, with $80,000 the largest single payment to a resident.

But Cairns-based Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network (ICAN) chief executive Aaron Davis said the money would put vulnerable people at risk.

"Palm Island is an area of extreme disadvantage, so it's great for the residents that this money's coming through," Mr Davis said.

"Unfortunately whenever big pools of money get put anywhere in Indigenous communities there is a lot of sharks around who could take advantage of that."

Mr Davis said his organisation visited Palm Island weekly to offer free financial counselling to Indigenous residents.

He said the island had a long history of financial exploitation.

"We've been having problems with rent-try-buy companies and things like that, targeting people over there," he said.

"They've had education companies going over there signing people up to things with offers of laptops and iPads and not really providing a proper education.
The Palm Island police station was targeted in the riot.

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The remains of the Palm Island police station in December 2004 after the riot. (AAP: Dave Hunt)

"[Now] there might be more effort by second-hand car yards and boat sellers ... that could all of a sudden want to target the place if they know there's significant amounts of money there."

Mr Davis said the settlement money could be life-changing to the Palm Island community — if the windfalls were properly managed.

"A lot of financial damage has already been done, so money could go towards helping them set up and clear [their debts] and get back to a stable place and start saving for something big," he said.

"If they have any pre-existing debts that they want to get rid of, they might want to put money into educational funds for their children — there are all sorts of things they can do.

"It's just about talking through those options and making sure that it's used wisely."

Class action lawyer Stewart Levitt said the Australian Securities and Investment Commission should monitor the situation to ensure residents were not preyed upon.

'Police the ones owed an apology'

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said the State Government's decision to settle the class action and offer a formal apology was a slap in the face to officers working in Indigenous communities.

"They're awarding $30 million to some people who are convicted criminals who will now get a cash windfall — it doesn't make sense," Mr Leavers said.

"[Police] are not racist - they're doing a job in very difficult circumstances in areas where most Australians would not comprehend what it's like to work and live in those environments.

"They are the ones who are owed an apology."
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-02/riot-class-action-payout-prompts-financial-shark-warning/9717084

It doesn't take an expert to predict that these new found rewards for bad behaviour won't last long.
I wonder what the lawyers cut is.
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charka
 Posted: May 2 2018, 08:16 AM
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They need some finacial planners So you burn stuff get rewarded great
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Alicia
 Posted: May 2 2018, 10:19 AM
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Wonder if AMP and their mates are heading there to help. http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/rolleyes.gif
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scepo
 Posted: May 2 2018, 10:59 AM
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Typical government reaction to a problem (either real or perceived). Throw money at it then walk away. In the end taxpayer money is wasted, and nothing changes, not for the better anyway. http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/rolleyes.gif

There are literally billions of dollars thrown at our indigenous people annually but there are no perceivable improvements made. Still same problems, same "disadvantage". http://fairdinkumnewschat.b1.jcink.com/uploads/fairdinkumnewschat/smiley_don_t_know.gif

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Alicia
 Posted: May 2 2018, 12:32 PM
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Admit, apologise, payout, move on. Today’s mantra, fixes everything!
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Bill
 Posted: May 2 2018, 01:00 PM
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I imagine that the people of Palm Island would have much rather justice for Cameron Doomadgee following his death at the hands of Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley.

That case, just like this one, was settled in the courts, so one must assume that, as flawed as it may seem to both sides, justice has been served.

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charka
 Posted: May 2 2018, 05:59 PM
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Where is my cash payout Be the governments fault when the grog deaths happen
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lee
 Posted: May 2 2018, 07:11 PM
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QUOTE
following his death at the hands of Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley.


"In June 2007 the Townsville based trial of Chris Hurley on charges of assault and manslaughter took place.[37] Chris Hurley was found not guilty after medical evidence was given which discredited claims by other witnesses of an assault by Hurley upon Doomadgee.[38] Public funded investigation and prosecution alone cost at least $7 million"


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