Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia Limited

‘DISGRACEFUL BETRAYAL BY GOVERNMENT’ says ALSWA

MEDIA STATEMENT BY THE ABORIGINAL LEGAL SERVICE OF WA, 28 July 2009

MEDIA STATEMENT BY THE ABORIGINAL LEGAL SERVICE OF WA, 28 July 2009

The Aboriginal Legal Service of WA (ALSWA) is dismayed and betrayed by today’s announcement that Redress WA payments will be slashed for eligible applicants.

ALSWA, who has assisted over 1000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with their applications statewide, says that this is an extremely hard and cruel blow to generations of already vulnerable people who have been abused while in state care.

“How do you tell someone that after years of abuse and being used as slave labour to make this state wealthy, that the government of today will not pay up what they have promised? It has been an incredibly traumatic and emotional experience for thousands of people to come forward to tell their story. This is not about the money. In good faith, emotionally scarred Redress WA applicants have placed their trust in today’s government, and they have suffered yet another cruel blow from this prosperous state, which appears to care more about profit than people” said Mr. Eggington ALSWA CEO.

The Aboriginal Legal Service has been inundated with phone calls from distressed clients all day since word got out that the maximum ex-gratia payment for Redress WA will most likely be reduced from the promised $80,000 to $45,000.

“This situation is unacceptable and the government needs to act urgently to redress their own inadequate handling of this matter. Over ten thousand people, from Aboriginal people to child migrants, have placed their trust in the Redress WA Scheme and the government must honour their promise and not back away from this commitment. The loss of a child’s innocence and trust is tragic in itself, but to continue that betrayal after the healing process has just begun for many, is intolerable!”

Contact ALSWA

1800 019 900
ALSWA Freecall from anywhere in WA.

7 Aberdeen Street
Perth WA 6000
(near McIver Train Station)

Phone: +61 8 9265 6666
Fax: +61 8 9221 1767
URGENT AFTER HOURS Criminal Matter:
08 9265 6644
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ALSWA Services

ALSWA provides legal advice and representation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in WA in Criminal, Family, Civil and Human Rights Law with additional services in community legal education, advocacy and the protection and promotion of human rights .

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