• The state government has agreed to pay $220,000 in damages to Lex Wotton and his family, despite appealing the landmark Palm Island ruling. (AAP)Source: AAP
The state government has agreed to pay $220,000 in damages to three Palm Island residents, despite its appeal of the landmark racial discrimination case.
31 Jan 2017 - 7:09 PM  UPDATED 31 Jan 2017 - 7:09 PM

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath confirmed this month the government would appeal over a decision handed down by the Federal Court in December that found police had been racist following the death in custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee in 2004.

But in the Brisbane Federal Court on Tuesday, lawyers for the state government announced it would still pay the damages to Palm Island man Lex Wotton and two of his family members.

The announcement comes amidst widespread criticism of the government's appeal, which has been slammed by Palm Island Mayor Alf Lacey and three north Queensland MPs.

More than 16,000 people have also signed a petition, created three days ago by Indigenous health campaigner Gracelyn Smallwood, demanding the state government drop the appeal. 

The appeal will likely be heard in May. 

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Palm Island mayor Alf Lacey says the community is feeling "very let down" by the decision to appeal a Federal Court ruling, which found police had been racist in the aftermath of a death in custody on the island in 2004.
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A court has ordered $220,000 in damages be paid in a landmark racial discrimination case brought by Palm Islanders against the Queensland government and the state's police force