Stolen wages offer to Aborigines slammed

2012-03-07 11:06

kalahari.com

Sydney - A rich Australian state's plan to pay up to $2 106 to Aboriginal people whose wages were kept from them for decades has been criticised as a "cruel and heartless offer".

Western Australia, a vast and resource-rich state riding a lucrative mining boom, has announced the payments for the "stolen wages" of Aboriginal people born before 1958 whose wages were controlled by the state government.

But the state's Aboriginal legal service said the payment was scant compensation for the practice under which for decades many indigenous workers were given only "pocket money" while their full wages were held back.

Dennis Eggington, chief executive of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia, described the payment plan as "a slap in the face and a cruel and heartless offer".

"This offer is an affront to all fair-minded Western Australians who believe in common decency and a fair go, and it is a vile and disgusting breach of the duty of this state to those whose wages were stolen," he said.

"In a state that is reaping a fortune from the resource sector, to offer nothing more than the crumbs off the table is reminiscent of the mission ration days," he said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Money never seen

For many years Australian governments placed extensive controls over the employment and wages of indigenous people.

In 2006 a Senate committee heard evidence of governments systematically withholding and mismanaging indigenous wages and entitlements for decades as well as evidence that Aborigines were underpaid or not paid at all.

In Western Australia (WA) the control of wages by employers, including the state government, was permitted under a law that gave the Department of Native Welfare the power to hold up to 75% of earnings in trust accounts.

In many instances, workers never saw this money.

WA Indigenous Affairs Minister Peter Collier said the wage law was one of "many unfortunate controls imposed on Aboriginal people by Federal and State governments across Australia" in the past.

He said most documentation about the accounts and monies held in trust had been lost, along with verification of who was affected and how much was held.

"For this reason, we have taken the decision to provide a reparation payment to those who can show they were affected," he said.

Read more on:    australia
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Delft - 20:37 PM
    Road name: R300 Southbound
    ROADWORKS - left lane closed at Hindle Road
  • Wednesday Sir Lowry's Pass - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Y

The Samsung Y (Young) is tiny but powerful with Android...

From R1499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.