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This Is How "Unsettled" Australia Was Before The British Arrived In 1788

Apparently, Tony Abbott needs to brush up on his history.

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Note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that this post contains images of deceased persons.

When questioned about foreign investment in real estate, Tony Abbott said, "Our country is unimaginable without foreign investment. I guess our country owes its existence to a form of foreign investment by the British government in the then unsettled or, um, scarcely settled, Great South Land."


The concept of terra nullius (that Australia was "land belonging to no one" when the Europeans arrived) was overturned by the High Court of Australia in the Mabo case in 1992.

What was that about being "scarcely settled", PM?

When asked for comment, Senator for the Northern Territory Nova Peris, the first Indigenous woman in parliament, told BuzzFeed, "I'd have thought 50,000 years of existing on the continent would have qualified as settled."

Additional reporting Mark Di Stefano