MEDIA STATEMENT BY THE ABORIGINAL LEGAL SERVICE OF WA, 23 March 2010

MEDIA STATEMENT BY THE ABORIGINAL LEGAL SERVICE OF WA, 23 March 2010

johnbedfordThe State Government’s offer of a $200,000.00 interim ex-gratia payment to the family of Mr. Ward has been welcomed by the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA (ALSWA).

“I am relieved that this offer has been made by the State Government.  Mr. Ward was a highly respected Elder and his tragic death on the 27th of January 2008 was avoidable.  Whilst it has been a lengthy and at times frustrating process seeking this payment from the Government, our main concern has been for the family of Mr. Ward” said John Bedford, ALSWA Executive Officer and Acting CEO.

 Whilst this offer is welcomed, I hope that we don’t have to endure the same delays and frustrations with the State Government over the decision to make a final, complete and satisfactory ex-gratia payment” said Mr. Bedford.

“The blame game from the government involving criticism of ALSWA for the delay must cease.  ALSWA has sought an ex-gratia payment on behalf of Mr. Ward’s family since July last year, following the Coroner’s Findings being handed down in Perth.

Footnote:

The Aboriginal Legal Service of WA has not yet been contacted or formally advised of this offer. ALSWA has only become aware of the offer through the Premier’s Media Statement of 22 March 2010 and subsequent media reports.