15th June 2012

Dennis_Eggington_ALSWA_CEO_v2MEDIA STATEMENT

ALSWA PROVIDES ASSISTANCE ON STOLEN WAGES

15th June2012

Like their brothers and sisters throughout the country, hundreds of Aboriginal people in WA had their wages stolen by successive governments.

The wealth of Australia today is due in large to the efforts of many of these people, who are still to reap the rewards of their toil.

On 6 March this year, the WA State Government announced that it would pay ‘eligible Aboriginal people, who were subjected to State-sanctioned financial controls, an ex gratia reparation payment of up to $2,000’. Sadly, this announcement has come too late for many people whose wages were withheld under past legislative schemes, however, for those who wish to apply for an ex gratia reparation payment, the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA (ALSWA) is available to assist.

“It saddens me to think that so many of our people have missed out on not only their wages, but also any acknowledgement of their hard work and efforts that have contributed to the prosperity of this country” said Dennis Eggington ALSWA CEO. Mr. Eggington said that ALSWA has an extensive list of people’s names whose wages were withheld.

“I would urge anyone who feels they may be eligible for this payment to come forward so that ALSWA can assist with the application process.

We anticipate large numbers and are grateful that our stolen wages work during this process will be assisted by Legal Aid WA and an alliance of national law firms, including Clayton Utz, Ashurst, Allens and Corrs, acting on a pro bono basis”.

ALSWA looks forward to hearing from anyone who may be entitled to this payment.

ALSWA Media Enquiries to ALSWA Media Officer Jodi Hoffmann on 0428 948 610