Residents of Palm island have launched a human rights complaint against Channel Nine and the Daily Mail over what they are calling ‘racist’ and ‘vilifying’ reports.
The complaint is in regard to a Nine investigation, which aired in May, which claimed residents of Palm Island spent “lavishly” on luxury four-wheel drives and sports cars which were “bought in bulk”, after the Queensland government agreed to pay residents a $30 million settlement in 2018 over the police response to 2004 riots.
“The police station was burnt down with officers inside … Now hundreds of locals have received massive taxpayer-funded compensation cheques.”
“New sports cars with custom paint jobs, luxury boats paid for in cash — a taste of what $30 million of taxpayer money is being spent on,” the Nine report said.
The Daily Mail published a follow-up story with the headline: “How locals have blown much of the $30 million compensation given to them after the Palm Island riots on lavish goods.”
Some claimants of the settlement are now seeking redress for these media reports, which they say breached Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
They will sign a document which will be sent by Levitt Robinson Solicitors to the Australian Human Rights Commission this week, according to ABC News.
“Palm Island recipients of compensation … were largely vilified and great offence was caused to them by virtue of the suggestion that they were not entitled to receive that money, that they were spending it irresponsibly,” principal lawyer Stewart Levitt told the ABC.
Nine’s reporter Alex Heinke, and Dailymail.com Australia are subject to the complaint.
Nine declined to comment.
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