22 November 2010
Government inaction on Stolen Wages a disgrace says ALSWA
As Premier Barnett charges ahead with Western Australia’s V8 economy, maybe he should look in the rear view mirror. For it is here that he will find many Indigenous families who are still awaiting the rightful return of their stolen wages, says the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA (ALSWA).
ALSWA CEO Dennis Eggington said that thousands of Aboriginal people who helped create the wealth of this state, had their wages stolen and the matter must now be addressed urgently. “It is disgraceful that the Barnett Government has still not responded to recommendations from the ‘Stolen Wages Taskforce Report’ from over two years ago and is yet another example of a government which is motivated more by profits than by people” he said.
Mr. Eggington is concerned that the longer our people are denied justice, for many, restitution will come too late.
“Much of the wealth of this state has been made off of the backs of hard working Aboriginal men and women. For the State Government to continue to deny our people what is legitimately owed is cruel and heartless. If only our cries for justice could be heard above the din of the parliamentary dining room. Aboriginal people deserve more than the crumbs off of the table of the privileged. After all, it was from our land, our sweat and our oppression that this bread was baked” said Mr. Eggington.
ALSWA said that if the government fails to address this historical theft of wages, then they should be judged as accessories after the fact. “After all, in the eyes of the law, are we not all equal?”
ALSWA is investigating the possibility of commencing a test case for stolen wages in Western Australia.