Michelle Roberts

Michelle Roberts

Minister for Housing and Works; Indigenous Affairs; Heritage; Land Information

    Minister announces first phase of Stolen Wages reconciliation

    20/09/2007 11:37 AM

    Indigenous Affairs Minister Michelle Roberts has announced that consultation to investigate the scope and extent of stolen wages in Western Australia has begun.

    Mrs Roberts said this first phase in the gathering of information for the Stolen Wages project was a significant milestone in helping to achieve reconciliation in WA.

    “The Stolen Wages Taskforce, through its project team, will examine information and research material to develop a better understanding of the extent and depth of this matter in WA,” she said.

    Individuals and organisations are invited to ‘Have Your Say’ during the two-month period between October 1 and November 30, 2007.

    The term ‘stolen wages’ refers to entitlements and money that should have been paid to indigenous workers but were not. Regulations allowed the government of the day to hold in trust up to 75 per cent of an indigenous person’s wages.

    The Minister said the first phase of the project was one of discovery and developing a better understanding of the issue.

    “It is important that consultation is the priority focus of this first phase,” she said.

    “Western Australian indigenous people, representative bodies, non-government agencies, institutions and/or bodies which historically are known to have impacted upon the lives of indigenous people between the years 1905 and 1972, are strongly encouraged to take part in this process.”

    The Stolen Wages project team has already consulted with other Australian States that have implemented schemes to address past issues.

    Mrs Roberts said the consultation and research phase of the project would enable the taskforce to report its findings to Cabinet by mid-2008.

    The Department of Indigenous Affairs was managing the consultation and investigation on behalf of the taskforce and inquiries should be made to the project team on 9235 8127.

    Templates to ‘Have Your Say’ - for individuals, family members, researchers and organisations - will be on the department’s website at http://www.dia.wa.gov.au from October 1.

    Minister's office - 9213 6600