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Damages Awarded to Aboriginal Couple

August 10, 1993

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ The owners of a caravan park were ordered to pay $13,800 to a homeless Aboriginal couple to whom they refused to rent a van because of their race.

In a decision released today, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission found that Robyn and Eric Kuch, who run the caravan park in the town of Sale in eastern Victoria state, had seriously breached state law by refusing to rent to Murray and Elvie Bull.

Commissioner Ron Castan said the case deserved a public apology and a susbstantial payment for the ″pain and humiliation inflicted upon Mr. and Mrs. Bull by reason of their race.″

Castan also ordered the couple to place a public apology in the local newspaper and pay another $483 to the Bulls for economic losses.

David Scott, a housing worker in Sale, told the Commission that he had contacted Mrs. Kuch in February, seeking temporary accommodations for the homeless couple who had gone to him for help.

She said that she ″would not rent to Aboriginals″ under any circumstance.

Mrs. Kuch admitted during testimony that she told Scott that she didn’t care if her refusal was discriminatory.

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