As international leisure and business travel becomes more accessible, foreigners are increasingly being caught up in overseas terrorism attacks as yesterday’s tragedy in Jakarta’s CBD shows. It is reported that a Canadian was amongst the seven fatalities and a Dutch United Nations employee was critically injured in the Jakarta terrorist bombings and gun battle. There have so far not been any reports of Australian casualties, but the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is urging Australians to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling in Indonesia.
This latest attack in Indonesia is a chilling reminder to Australia of the 2005 Bali bombing which killed 20 innocent people including four Australians, and injuring dozens more. In the wake of such terror attacks, the Australian government has recognised that victims of overseas terrorism need financial support to get their lives back on track. So what are Australians rights when they are victims of terrorist attacks overseas?
The answer is that the Federal Government has set up a compensation scheme for Australians who are injured in overseas terrorism attacks and the families of Australians killed in foreign terror attacks. In order to be eligible for a compensation payment, the Prime Minister must declare that the terror incident is one to which the scheme applies. The most recent declaration has been for the November 2015 Paris attacks. Eligible victims are able to claim financial support of up to $75,000 depending on their circumstances. There is a strict two year deadline to submit a claim to the Federal Government, otherwise a victim’s rights to compensation lapse.
If you have been injured overseas, whether as a victim of terrorism or in an accident, it is important to seek specialist legal advice. Contact our travel law expert Victoria Roy (nee Gallanders) for a free consultation by telephoning 1800 25 1800 or by making an online enquiry.