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Court approves $22M settlement for Wreck Bay PFAS contamination on Indigenous land

  • The Federal Court has approved a settlement distribution scheme for a $22M settlement for the Wreck Bay community impacted by PFAS contamination.

The Federal Court today made orders to enable the distribution of a $22m settlement to the traditional owners of Wreck Bay land. The orders come after the court previously approved the settlement amount in June 2023. In a judgment delivered today, Justice Lee said that he was satisfied that the settlement distribution scheme was just and sensible. It concludes a three-year battle seeking compensation for the damage caused to this sacred stretch of land on the South Coast of NSW.  Shine Lawyers’ joint Head of Class Actions, Craig Allsopp, who settled the claim on behalf of this community, said, while the settlement was a victory for some group members, the community will be forever impacted as they can no longer use their land in traditional ways established for thousands of years.  “The court orders today mean that we can now get on with the process of distributing the settlement to the Wreck Bay community. I am acutely aware that monetary compensation will never be enough to make up for this community’s loss of their cultural connection to the land.”  This class action included claims for property value loss, the loss of use and enjoyment of the land, and cultural loss. It does not include claims for personal injury.  This action was funded by Shine Lawyers.

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