Briggs-Smith v Moree Plains Shire Council – Federal Magistrates Court

In December 2011, EDO NSW filed an application in the Federal Magistrates Court on behalf of Aunty Noeline Briggs-Smith seeking protection of the Dhiyaan Indigenous Centre (DIC), an Aboriginal keeping place in Moree.

The DIC is a collection of Aboriginal library resources, geneaologies and artefacts that took 16 years to accumulate. The DIC played an essential role in the preservation of cultural heritage for Aboriginal people in and around Moree until its closure and redistribution of the majority of the collection to regional libraries. Our client sought orders for the Moree Plains Shire Council to return items and restore the DIC for the benefit of the Aboriginal community. Our client was unsuccessful in her application for a maximum costs order to cap liability for costs in the proceedings at $5,000. Subsequently, Aunty Noeline was unable to continue with her case given the risk of an adverse costs order if unsuccessful. The proceedings were discontinued but our office is continuing to assist Aunty Noeline in trying to protect and restore the DIC.

EDO NSW would like to thank barrister Brenda Tronson for her assistance in this matter.

Judgment