Overnight, Tony Abbott promised to allocate $75k lump sum compensation payments to victims of overseas terrorist acts. The money is earmarked for people with ongoing physical injuries or mental trauma, and the dead’s next of kin.

Generous policy, but could it prove too generous?

On face value, it is a thoughtful measure. You might also argue that it’s a clever jump on any similar plans the government may or may be set to announce as the 10th anniversary of the first Bali bombing looms.

Mr Abbott plans to backdate the compensation to cover the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001, the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings, London in 2005 and Jakarta in 2004 and 2009. In total, around 300 people will be eligible. Every decent Australian would agree this will be money well spent.

But how many more Australians will want a slice of the action?

Potentially, any Australian who has been injured in an avalanche while skiing in New Zealand, or gored by a bull at the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, or sideswiped by a taxi while working in New York City will now feel entitled to ask for a handout.

Why is one misadventure overseas deemed more worthy of governmental assistance than any other?

That’s not to discount the pain of the families of Australians maimed or killed in events so horrible most of us couldn’t imagine them.

But if the government starts positioning itself as a de facto insurance agency for Australians who encounter misfortune overseas, (and nobody even needs to take out a premium), where does it end?

Isn’t there a thing called travel insurance for stuff like this?

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEST

Most commented

77 comments

Show oldest | newest first

    • BruceS says:

      12:08pm | 30/08/12

      To answer your question - NO. It would only encourage selfish, reckless and irresponsible behaviour. However, act of grace payments are appropriate in extreme circumstances.

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      01:15pm | 30/08/12

      There are hundreds of Australians working as English teachers earning fairly low pay of about $1000 per month in Asia and doing their bit for humanity and Australia.

      I know personally of two cases of personal tragedies among these teachers. One fell down the stairs in a college and died. The Australian Govt in such a case will not pay and send back the body to grieving relatives in Australia.

      The second case I had to help carry a teacher down six flights of stairs after the teacher had a heart attack. At hospital we had to pay a large CASH deposit before treatment can be started.

      So at present Australian travellers or workers in Asia have to look after themselves in a tragedy or major accident.

      I am very fed up to see many politically correct people who worries so much for the boatpeople who have hijacked our humane refugee program when Australians are pretty much on their own when overseas.. There is utter confusion between boatpeople and refugees.

    • expat says:

      05:46pm | 30/08/12

      I dont agree B S Goh, as an expat living in asia, albeit on lots more than $1k a month, the government should not be responsible for any expat travelling or living overseas. Private travel insurance is a must, if people still continue to travel without it then that is not the taxpayers problem.

    • Al says:

      12:10pm | 30/08/12

      “Every decent Australian would agree this will be money well spent.”
      Guess I am not a ‘decent Australian’ then.
      Not money well spent.
      The government is not a compensation body (nor should it be).
      Next it will be ‘compensation as I didn’t realise poking a Lion with a stick could result in it attacking me!’ and other misadventures that people can protect against the impact of by taking out that little travel insurance policy (although I believe these have an exclusion/limit on them regarding people doing things that are obviously dangerous to their persons like poking a Lion with a stick).

    • Carol says:

      03:32pm | 30/08/12

      Al,
      I’m with you, the thought that Australians at home will be compensating those that go overseas and get into trouble worries me. People jump off of cliffs, ride the rapids, face hungry lions etc. People make their own decisions as to whet they do and where they go. Shit happens, that’s life, you takes your choice and wear it.

      Sadly, I see this as another exercise in vote buying.

    • dovif says:

      03:37pm | 30/08/12

      I do not see any difference with this and the NDIS. The government should not be a compensation body for someone becoming paralyse because of an accident, or if the mother was using drugs when she was pregnant

      I will use the same argument against Shane’s argument too

    • PsychoHyena says:

      04:09pm | 30/08/12

      @dovif, and of course those are the only reasons why someone becomes disabled, I mean medically induced disorders a’la thalidomide are all because of the mother aren’t they?

      But don’t worry dovif, I understand you suffer from “head-up-bum syndrome” and that you have no understanding of the real world.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      12:13pm | 30/08/12

      Travel at own risk. The government shouldn’t have to babysit travelers that get into trouble or bail them out. If you can’t afford travel insurance or emergency assist providers, you shouldn’t be travelling at all…....

    • d says:

      12:17pm | 30/08/12

      Where is the money comming from?
      I hate both sides of government in Australia
      Stop spending tax payer money on stuff the tax payer does not need!
      Stop with handouts for no reason…

      OMG you had a baby! here have some money! OMG you have school kids! here have a metric shizenton of money! What You dont have a job! poor baby have an imperial shizenton of money!

    • Tim says:

      12:17pm | 30/08/12

      The government has no business doing this.

      It’s a ridiculous sentiment designed to score political points from the stupid.

    • Lauren says:

      01:36pm | 30/08/12

      Im sure you are aware it is Tony Abbott who wants to do this once he is elected not the current government? Your second statement sums up everything Tony Abbott has ever said and done so I couldn’t agree with you more.

    • Lauren says:

      01:36pm | 30/08/12

      Im sure you are aware it is Tony Abbott who wants to do this once he is elected not the current government? Your second statement sums up everything Tony Abbott has ever said and done so I couldn’t agree with you more.

    • marley says:

      03:01pm | 30/08/12

      @Lauren - actually, the ALP has already passed the Bill.  Tony just wants to make it retroactive.  So, if the Bill is stupid, what does that make the ALP who put it before Parliament in the first place?

    • Babylon says:

      12:19pm | 30/08/12

      “You might also argue that it’s a clever jump on any similar plans the government may or may be set to announce as the 10th anniversary of the first Bali bombing looms.”

      I rang the Labor Party HQ, they didn’t know what I was talking about.

    • nihonin says:

      12:19pm | 30/08/12

      Now this is just out and out vote buying.  Definitely NO.

    • Gordon says:

      12:21pm | 30/08/12

      Lets just print all the money until the ink is gone & the tanks of that placcy they make it from are empty, count it out into 20 million little piles and post it out to everybody. Then close up the treasury and put up a sign on Canberra: closed, broke, busted & gone home, you’ve got the lot now bugger off.

    • Patrick says:

      12:22pm | 30/08/12

      Why terrorist but not earthquake, fire or flood?  Where does it stop?

      Insurance exists for a reason.

    • TimB says:

      01:07pm | 30/08/12

      ‘Why terrorist but not earthquake, fire or flood?  Where does it stop?’

      I thought the answer to that question was self evident. It stops at terrorism.

    • bael says:

      12:26pm | 30/08/12

      Most insurers will not cover you for act of war or terrorism in a normal policy, however if you choose to holiday in a place with a travel advisory that includes the risk of terrorism and war then you have already choosen to take that risk.

    • Terry2 says:

      12:30pm | 30/08/12

      It’s an odd move by Tony Abbott: I could understand paying for the return of the bodies of deceased Australian citizens killed in terrorist attacks and possibly contributing to funeral costs but going beyond that does seem excessive unless as a ‘one of ’ goodwill payment.
      Setting this sort of precedent, like his parental leave scheme, gives unreal community expectations of government largesse..

    • TimB says:

      12:35pm | 30/08/12

      ‘Why is one misadventure overseas deemed more worthy of governmental assistance than any other?’

      I thought this proposal was in regards to terrorist attacks only. Not general travel accidents.

      Debate the merits of the policy itself sure, but don’t start basing your arguments around something that the policy isn’t. That’s idiotic.

      If Abbott were to go ahead with this though, I would add a caveat: Any destinations that our government has issued travel warnings for due to the potential terrorist activities (or other acts of war) should not be covered.

      If travellers are silly enough to ignore warnings (or not bother to check) and then get caught up in an attack that they reasonably should have known about, the government should not be liable.

    • Tim says:

      01:16pm | 30/08/12

      C’mon,
      the plan is stupid no matter what destinations are involved. I think Ant’s comparison is valid, what’s so special about being injured in a terrorist attack?

      The government shouldn’t be involved in insuring people against terrorist attacks. Sure it probably won’t cost that much but it’s a stupid, populist move.

      Abbott should have far more pressing policy needs than worrying about stuff like this.

    • AdamC says:

      01:32pm | 30/08/12

      Sharwood seems to be making several leaps, pirouettes, even arabesques with his reasoning here. Also, describing being the victim of a terrorist attacks as a ‘misadventure’ is stupid and offensive. Doesn’t the Punch have an editor?

    • year of the dragon says:

      01:53pm | 30/08/12

      My first reaction is to agree with Tim on this but maybe TimB has a point. 

      Philosophically I believe in personal responsibility and that it is not the government’s role to pay for things that individuals should pay for themselves.

      I agree that if someone goes to a place that has a travel warning that they shouldn’t be covered.

      But what about people who travel to, say, London, who get travel insurance but are not covered for acts of terrorism?

      If nothing else, shouldn’t the government provide those services that are unable to be accessed via the free market?

      What do you think Tim?

    • TimB says:

      01:56pm | 30/08/12

      Tim I think the difference is that a terrorist attack is deliberate and pre-meditated. Other accidents not so much. There’s no human factor involved.

      Bael up above claims that insurers will not cover for terrorism, can anyboduy confirm this? Assuming this to be the case, that’s another clear difference- You can take out travel insurance on all those other things Ant mentions, but for terrorism there’s no protection at all.

      Hopefully the incidence of future terrorist attacks would be low and as you say this wouldn’t really cost all that much. Given that, would you really begrudge a terrorist victim that cash? I honestly don’t think this is the huge deal it’s being made out to be. There’s begger impacting policies to get worked up about IMO (his silly PPL scheme for one).

      And incidently as I’ve just posted further down, it seems that these compensation laws are already in place courtesy of the ALP. Abbott’s proposal is to simply backdate payments to include vicims of Bali & 9/11.

    • Tim says:

      02:29pm | 30/08/12

      TimB,
      what about getting robbed, bashed etc overseas?

      Look It’s not going to matter to me all that much but on principle I would be against the law.
      But as you say it was passed last year so Abbott’s proposal would apply to only 300 people, so $22.5 million in total. Not really a big deal.

      Oh and yes you can get travel insurance for terrorism, it was part of a policy I got when I went overseas last year.

    • Cars says:

      02:59pm | 30/08/12

      I’ve got my travel insurance policy from Allianz in front of me. They will not cover when:
      - Your cover arises from any act of war, whenther war is declared or not or from any rebellion, revolution, insurrection or taking of power by the military.
      - Your claim arises from a nuclear reaction or contamination from nuclear weapons or radioactivity.
      - Your claim arises from biological and/or chemical materials, substances, compounds or the like used directly or indirectly for the purpose to harm or to destroy human life and/or create public fear.

      So, as long as the terrorists use a good old fashioned bomb or bullets, I should be OK.
      That said, I would be pissed off if I got run over by a tank, radiation burns, or anthrax poisoning, only to find out I’m not covered. What’s with this??

    • TimB says:

      03:20pm | 30/08/12

      Hmm. You’re saying that it is covered others are saying that it isn’t. Not having travelled outside the country, I honestly have no idea myself.

      When it comes down to it though I think that’s the clincher for me. If the insurance is offered then yes, the government is better off butting out. If it isn’t then I don’t have an issue with them stepping in.

    • Luke says:

      12:36pm | 30/08/12

      “Overnight, Tony Abbott promised to allocate $75k lump sum compensation payments to victims of overseas terrorist acts”

      “Potentially, any Australian who has been injured in an avalanche while skiing in New Zealand, or gored by a bull at the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, or sideswiped by a taxi while working in New York City will now feel entitled to ask for a handout.”  ummm he’s talking about terrorist acts as you have mentioned in your first paragraph?

    • PeterD says:

      02:14pm | 30/08/12

      I don’t think Anthony knows what he’s talking about. The Government already compensates Australians caught up in terrorist attacks.

    • Anthony Sharwood

      Anthony Sharwood says:

      03:24pm | 30/08/12

      Come on guys. I am simply saying if one set of Australians overseas have one type of misfortune happen to them and another group have a different type of misfortune, they may then feel that they have missed out on the govt’s generosity if this scheme is introduced.

    • M says:

      03:35pm | 30/08/12

      Will assange be covered by this scheme, Ant?

    • PsychoHyena says:

      03:41pm | 30/08/12

      @Luke and PeterD or maybe it’s a case of this is where it starts and this is where it’s likely to reach and exceed, and Peter we cover future attacks however Abbott wants it retroactive despite those people also received compensation at the time, meaning they would be double-dipping.

      I think you two don’t know what you’re talking about.

    • year of the dragon says:

      03:47pm | 30/08/12

      “Come on guys. I am simply saying if one set of Australians overseas have one type of misfortune happen to them and another group have a different type of misfortune, they may then feel that they have missed out on the govt’s generosity if this scheme is introduced.”

      It is important to seperate the groups into those that take can get insurance for themselves and those that can’t.

      I am against government support for the former.

      However I do think that there is some merit in support for the latter as long as they are not taking unreasonable risks - for instance, a tramping holiday in Mogadishu.

    • Hamlyn says:

      05:24pm | 30/08/12

      Why would the family get a $75k lump sum? Im a relatively compassionate person and I feel for a family who loses a loved one overseas in any circumstance, but I would think that bringing the body home for the family should be enough.
      Getting a $75k windfall just seems like a pointless waste of money.
      If we’ve got so much money to throw around maybe we could throw some at aged care, instead of paying people to have babies so their tax will supposedly fund it in the future.

    • marley says:

      07:16pm | 30/08/12

      @Hamlyn - it’s up to $75,000, not $75,000 for everyone.  I’m assuming there’s some sort of analysis of how much an individual or family should get.

    • P. Darvio says:

      12:39pm | 30/08/12

      Terrorism is mostly religious based - we should tax religion to pay for this compensation scheme rather than the tax payer fund it.

    • KH says:

      12:43pm | 30/08/12

      This is a pointless question.  We all know what will happen if he wins government.  He will promptly axe all ‘promises’ (although if they aren’t written down, they probably aren’t real anyway) and then spend the following 3 years blaming the previous government for his inability to implement anything he claimed he would, whilst savagely cutting everything in sight but making sure the billionaires like Gina ‘you don’t work hard enough’ Rinehart are looked after.  That is why he makes such outrageous announcements - it is all to achieve his main - and only -  goal - to get a job he doesn’t deserve, for as long as possible, so his massive ego can be satiated. Pulling in the suckers by blinding them with dollar signs - a tried and true vote buying method.

      He is always bitching and moaning about how much the current government spends, whilst in the next breath offering ridiculous things like this that will cost lots of money (notably without telling anyone how he plans to fund it).  Either he is the ultimate hypocrite, or he is a bald-faced liar.  Either way, these payments will never happen.

    • thatmosis says:

      02:11pm | 30/08/12

      Can I borrow your crystal ball I want the Lotto numbers for next week or are you just going on the evidence of this almost Government and its lies to the people. Fortunately not everyone is as bad as this almost Government when it comes to telling porkies, “There will be no Carbon Tax under a Government I lead” comes to mind very readily but then again we are so conditioned to this almost Governments lies that when the truth finally pokes its head above water we wont notice it, but don’t let that stop you reversing the status quo if that’s what gets your rocks off…

    • KH says:

      03:28pm | 30/08/12

      What do i need a crystal ball for?!  Its happened before.  It will happen again.

    • Donny says:

      04:07pm | 30/08/12

      Yes KH, Rinehart comment ranks up there with Bill Shortens “I feel your pain”  to the unemployed as he can not make ends meet on his $330k per year

    • Bear says:

      12:45pm | 30/08/12

      Now if labor proposed this the Lib turds would go nuts. So let’s see how u spin it into a great idea because it’s Abbott! Liars!

    • Andrew says:

      01:45pm | 30/08/12

      You are right, there would be at least 200 posts in outrage if the ALP did this.

      I think you will find though that they won’t come out and support it, they will ignore it so that it doesn’t get traction. The same thing happens when you ask them about direct action.

    • thatmosis says:

      02:23pm | 30/08/12

      I don’t think its a great idea at all and I am one of those Libs you are talking about.
        I believe its everyone’s responsibility to insure themselves against whatever, be it medical, home and contents, car, travel , life, sickness, accident, income protection or funeral. Add to that there should be insurance against having children whilst at work so that the Maternity Leave can be abolished as another tax payer funded Nanny State proposition.
        People now expect the Government, be it Labor Or Lib/Nat to do all the hard yards for them and bail them out for every decision they make that goes wrong or is going to cost them money. The Tax Payers of Australia are not cash cows and its time that people were made to look after their own and if they make mistakes then they pay for it not the Tax Payer.
        So that just about negates your proposition that all the Libs will think this is a great idea doesn’t it, back to the drawing board.

    • Bear says:

      02:42pm | 30/08/12

      @Andrew , you’re right. I’ve noticed when abbott says something stupid the just block their ears and close their eyes and say “la la la la la, I am not listening…” and then pretend once all is forgotten that he’s perfect and that it never happened.

    • Jess says:

      12:48pm | 30/08/12

      Wouldn’t these types of injuries be covered under the NDIS or Medicare whatever appeal is set up for the victims of these attacks?

    • SAm says:

      12:54pm | 30/08/12

      Find me one conservative that thinks this is a good idea

    • marley says:

      02:26pm | 30/08/12

      Find me anyone who thinks this is a good idea.

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      12:57pm | 30/08/12

      Wouldn’t you be covered by travel insurance if you died?

      Seems to reek of a vote buying exercise at the expense of terrorist victims, classy.

      Also this is the same guy who gave it to Bernie Banton, what was that about

      “It would be a mean-spirited nation that would refuse this kind of modest assistance.”

    • year of the dragon says:

      02:05pm | 30/08/12

      simonfromlakemba says:12:57pm | 30/08/12

      “Wouldn’t you be covered by travel insurance if you died?”

      Would it change your mind if the answer was “no”?

    • JoniM says:

      02:51pm | 30/08/12

      “Seems to reek of a vote buying exercise at the expense of terrorist victims, classy.”

      Maybe !
      But at least $22.5m is miniscule in the pork barrelling department, compared to the ALP’s $4b for dental, $5b for Gonski, $15b (or $22b) for NDIS, or $27b ( then $36b, then $45b, then ???) for NBN, all unfunded and all to try to win a few polling points !

      “Also this is the same guy who gave it to Bernie Banton, what was that about .”

      The dying Bernie Banton was exploited by his union mates to enable people like you to say what you say about Abbott !  Its right up there with Abbott hates the poor, the women and gays and of course dying people !
      Abbott correctly called out Bernie Banton for his disingenuous performance on behalf of the unions that day!

    • marley says:

      03:16pm | 30/08/12

      If it reeks of vote buying, you might want to take it up with the ALP, who are the ones who passed the act in the first place.

    • M says:

      03:19pm | 30/08/12

      @ Simon, agreed. The chances of a terrorist attack killing/injuring australians is pretty small and abbott knows if it ever did happen, 75k is a paltry sum to have to put your money where you mouth is.

      I can’t believe people would fall for this.

    • Hamlyn says:

      05:36pm | 30/08/12

      The whole dental plan gets me. Im sick of seeing young people with dirty rotton teeth with a smoke in one hand and an energy drink in the other whining about the cost of going to the dentist.
      Seriously, drink some water for a change, give up the fags and buy a freaking toothbrush!
      Aussie teeth are so bad because we eat and drink so much crap and choose to spend our money on stuff which is far less important than the dentist or health cover.
      Your teeth are more important than an iphone!

    • Ian1 says:

      01:15pm | 30/08/12

      If we were not engaged militarily abroad, would the Nation’s actions still be increasing the likelihood of terrorist attack against Australian travellers?
      Perhaps yes, perhaps no, perhaps more terrorism against Aussie travellers would occur without our military involvements.

      Should the Australian taxpayer insure citizens whilst overseas?  Um, we can afford that now?

      Why not, I mean Wanyne and Julia have already clocked up tens of billions of debt, not a sniff of surplus around, why not pretend we can pay back the debt and pay for every Australian to travel why we are at it?  Not even a Coalition government will be able to save Australia from the debt burden should this Labor/Green minority government continue for much longer…

      Why not a policy refusing exit from Australia for travel without a valid insurance policy which covers terrorist attack for the duration of travel?  Wouldn’t that be prudent and more sensible?

    • Inky says:

      01:47pm | 30/08/12

      But it’s alright, because unlike the govenrment in power, Abbott doesn’t waste taxpayer dollars in poorly thought out vote buying schemes.

      Except when he does.

      Face the facts, they’re both as bad as one another, there aren’t two major parties in Australian politics, there’s two different flavours of the same party.

    • colin says:

      01:47pm | 30/08/12

      “Should the government be a de facto travel insurer?”

      Oh, yes, of course they should! I mean look how well all those Compulsory Third Party insurance schemes the governments have run over the years; there was absolutely NO rorting there…Oh, wait…

    • Lauren says:

      02:26pm | 30/08/12

      I knew it was only a matter of time until one of Tony’s worshippers found a way to defend him. No I do not want to change my opinion, it is still a populist policy with zero vision and a waste of money. You would agree if it was Julia’s idea. If this is the best he can do in terms of policy then that tells me everything I need to know.

      I suggest Tony starts devoting his time to coming up with a policy to help Australians with a disability, or perhaps a way to lift the standard of education in this country, or maybe a policy to give all Australians access to faster internet or perhaps even a way to give more children access to dental care. Oh no wait, it has already been done by the current government, never mind.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      03:12pm | 30/08/12

      It was a stupid idea when Labor implemented, it is a stupid idea when Abbott endorses it by wanting to make it retroactive. Stupid is as stupid does. Both Gillard and Abbott are stupid…...

    • marley says:

      03:30pm | 30/08/12

      @John L - he did.

    • John L says:

      04:26pm | 30/08/12

      @Marley - yeah, I decided to read the doc and found that too, he’s championed a private bill since 2009, but I couldn’t find any detail about the bill itself and gave up in short order.

      I guess that if he did raise it and it wasn’t accepted in during three readings it means that he can’t drum up the support in his own party, I like the irony.

    • IMay says:

      01:57pm | 30/08/12

      First I must say I do not believe a single word that comes out of this man’s mouth. He is the guy who SIGNED an agreement and then went back on his word when it turned out it wouldn’t be to his advantage. How much lower can you get ... anyway

      I find it difficult to see where the dispensations should end. Terrorism is terrible, but what about the victims after say the Tsunami in Thailand or Japan. How about the earth quake in NZ last year. Where does it end ?

      Travel insurance does not cover it - but there are many things that are unexpected and are not covered by insurance. I am sure it sounds heartless - but it is called life !

    • Anubis says:

      02:49pm | 30/08/12

      @ IMay is that like promising to reform Poker Machine laws then backing out because you changed the numbers in Parliament, or is it like “There will be no Carbon Tax under a Government I lead” then backing out to get the support of the Greens, or maybe like the 2007 Rudd/Gillard promise to deliver a Coast Guard? Or of Gillard lying about her Socialist Forum background. Good question - “How much lower can you get ... anyway”

      Really neither party currently in the running for Government deserves to be there, especially the union thieves, union theft enablers, blatant liars with the reverse midas touch that currently refer to themselves as the Government.

    • martinX says:

      02:00pm | 30/08/12

      Given that your risk of dying from a terrorism-related cause is slim anyway, it’s right up there with crocodile attack insurance. This is a silly vote-grabbing exercise.

      >>“Isn’t there a thing called travel insurance for stuff like this?”

      Many (all?) insurance plans don’t cover terrorism-related events.

    • iggy says:

      02:11pm | 30/08/12

      Most insurance covers exclude acts of terrorism or civil disturbance? So even with travel insurance an Australian injured in London say in the underground bomb attacks or race riots could be excluded from any benefits. You would hardly describe visiting London as a high risk for such incidents. Perhaps Tony Abbott should add the caveat that it would only apply where the traveller was already carrying insurance which was voided by the particular circumstance. The downside of this however is that every insurer would no doubt seek to exclude a range of circumstances from their policies hoping for the government to cover it.

    • Donny says:

      02:36pm | 30/08/12

      So in other words, only selected pieces of Abbott’s comments have been quoted.  Sounds about normal.

    • M says:

      02:42pm | 30/08/12

      Abbott is very smart when it comes to buying votes.

    • marley says:

      03:11pm | 30/08/12

      If we could stop the sniping back and forth for a moment, here are a few facts.

      The “Supporting Australian Victims of Terrorism Overseas” Act was introduced into Parliament in June 2011 by then A-G Robert McClelland. The Bill proposed to amend the Social Security Act to allow a one-off payment of up to $75,000 to victims of terrorism, or their survivors.  The acts of terrorism have to be designated as such by the PM.  The Bill received Parliamentary assent on July 22, 2012 of this year.

      At the time of the debate, Abbott argued that compensation should be made retroactive.  The government disagreed, on the grounds that victims of earlier attacks had already received compensation.  The bill was passed to cover future terrorist acts only.

      So, the concept of providing compensation to victims of terrorism has bipartisan support.  The only difference between the two parties is the issue of reciprocity, not the underlying principle.  If Abbott is being profligate, so is the Government.

    • marley says:

      03:27pm | 30/08/12

      Make that “issue of retroactivity” not “reciprocity.”  Damn.

    • TimB says:

      03:55pm | 30/08/12

      They were already compensated you say? Interesting. Do you know the amount offhand?

      Assuming this is accurate, then Abbott’s proposal should really be bopped on the head (depending on the amount in question of course). No real sense in compensating people twice.

    • marley says:

      04:50pm | 30/08/12

      @TimB - well, as far as I can follow the argument put by Roxon, linked below, the 9/11 victims got compensation through a specific fund, and victims of later terrorist events through a mix of existing compensation schemes.  I don’t know how comparable these would have been to the new scheme.

      Roxon also made the point that the Howard government had specifically rejected setting up a special compensation scheme for the Bali victims.  While I’m not in favour of the scheme, I think that, given that it now exists, it is really quite petty to argue that earlier victims can’t have it because they were injured on Howard’s watch.

      Anyway, here’s a link:

      http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/genpdf/chamber/hansardr/c3691419-911e-4e11-b6bf-09c7da360bc2/0081/hansard_frag.pdf;fileType=application/pdf
      Anyway, here’s the link:

    • Esteban says:

      03:25pm | 30/08/12

      This is the type of policy that we might expect from a debt fee Government recording budget surplusses and is looking for ways to spend money.

      What we have is a significant amount of debt created by 5 budget deficits. A forecast black hole from multiple unfunded promises (Gonski,NDIS,teeth).
      At the same time company earnings are down so lower tax payments are quite likely.

      Commodity prices are down so the mining tax may not bring much in and the price of carbon could be well below the promised compensation which will leave a structural deficit.

      Until the NBN is a proven business model capable of servicing its own debt it is prudent to make provisions that the budget will have to help out with the debt burden.

      The crazy policy announcements made by the ALP should be the only excuse we need to eject them from office.

      If the opposition has to start coming up with their own crazy policies to gain office then we are in a deal of trouble.

      It is one thing for the ALP and greens to have unfunded unrealistic policies but if the Libs go down that path then we might as well not even have elections.

      Drop this policy and the levy on business to fund maternity leave.
      Where are the true fiscal conservatives.

      Recall Costello.

    • P. Walker says:

      04:14pm | 30/08/12

      Can we all remember when the refugees escaped their persecution in Lebanon, got residency, read dual citizenship, and then claimed they were Aussies when it turned to shit when they were visiting relatives, like visiting for 6 months of the year?  Yeah, then they wanted the Australian government to fly them out.  No, they should never be given special treatment.  They should never have gone back, after all they were escaping death, weren’t they?
      Vote for me, if someone with dual citizenship was not of clean character I would rip their OZ citizenship up when they left our shores!  These have more rights and choices than Australian born citizens.

    • Geronimo says:

      07:13pm | 30/08/12

      For a creature who was Party Unanimity to the gutless, draft dodging Howard’s Illegal Invasion of Iraq in which hundreds of thousands of innocents were murdered, Abbott’s emotional congruity is pathetic.

 

Facebook Recommendations

Read all about it

Punch live

Up to the minute Twitter chatter

Recent posts

The latest and greatest

The Punch is moving house

The Punch is moving house

Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more

28 comments

Newsletter

Read all about it

Sign up to the free News.com.au newsletter