A sad but important deadline is fast approaching for Australian
victims of overseas terrorists acts. By 20 September 2015 people
directly harmed in certain terrorist acts committed overseas must
submit their claims for compensation to the Federal Government, or
their rights to compensation will lapse.
The Federal Government provides Australian victims of overseas
terrorism, and their families, financial support of up to $75,000
to assist them to get on with their lives. Applications must be
received by 20 September for victims of the 9/11 attacks in the US,
the 2002 Bali bombings, 2005 London bombings, 2005 Bali bombing,
2006 Egypt bombings, 2008 Mumbai attack, and 2009 Jakarta hotel
People eligible for government compensation include people who
were in the place where a terrorist act occurred, the family of a
person killed in a terror attack, and people injured in a terror
The government has defined "in the place" of a
terrorist attack as being in close proximity or witnessing the
attack first hand. People who went to the place of an attack to
assist others are also eligible.
There is only one payment per family of a victim up to a maximum
of $75,000, and there is a formula for sharing the payment set out
under legislation. Details are available on the Department of Human
Victoria Gallanders, travel law expert at Stacks Goudkamp, says
if anyone thinks they might be eligible for compensation for a
terrorist act overseas it would be wise to seek legal advice well
before the deadline expires.
"Sadly there have been more terror attacks since those
listed for compensation by the government, such as the Tunisian
beach attack in June. The government should regularly update the
list of terrorist acts which are compensable, so that victims and
their families can get the financial, medical and psychological
support that they need to move on with their lives."
Ms Gallanders said the UK has a more complex but more generous
compensation scheme, with British victims of overseas terrorism
eligible for payments of up to half a million pounds.
Ms Gallanders said victims of domestic terrorism aren't
offered the same level of compensation as those attacked overseas.
Compensation for victims of crime, including terrorism, within
Australia is administered on a State rather than Federal level.
This means victims of domestic terror attacks such as the 2014
Sydney Lindt Café siege are covered by State victims
compensation laws, which are less generous.
The NSW government has asked the federal government to include
domestic terror victims in the same scheme as those affected by
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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