Payout to spark $ 1b claim wave
A LANDMARK native title payout has been upheld in the Federal Court and is expected to trigger nationwide compensation claims exceeding $ 1 billion.
A historic $ 3.3 million in damages awarded to the Ngaliwurru and Nungali people of Timber Creek was largely upheld after the full bench of the Federal Court dismissed an appeal from the Northern Territory Government on Thursday.
In August 2016, the case determined for the first time how to award compensation to traditional owners who have lost their native title rights.
The indigenous groups were awarded $ 512,000 for economic loss, almost $ 1.5 million for interest and another $ 1.3 million for pain and suffering caused by a loss of attachment to the tiny parcel of land 600km southwest of Darwin.
Thursday’s ruling upheld most of the original decision but reduced the economic value of the native title rights and interests from 80 per cent to 65 per cent of the land’s freehold value, which the Northern Land Council said was “disappointing”.
Land access partner Andrew Gay, of law firm Ashurst, expects a marked increase in the number of similar cases around the country.