Indigenous Stolen Wages

I give notice that on the 14th of June, I shall move that the Senate:

A: Notes that a report from the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee into the issue of Indigenous Stolen Wages was tabled in the Senate on 7 December, 2006;

B: Notes that the report contained six unanimous recommendations, which were as follows:

1: that the Commonwealth Government and state governments facilitate unhindered access to their archives for Indigenous people and their representatives for the purposes of researching the Indigenous stolen wages issue as a matter of urgency.
2: that the Ministerial Council on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs agree on joint funding arrangements for:
a. an education and awareness campaign in Indigenous communities in relation to stolen wages issues; and
b. preliminary legal research on Indigenous stolen wages matters.
3: that the Commonwealth Government provide funding in the next budget to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies to conduct a national oral history and archival project in relation to Indigenous stolen wages.
4: that:
a. the Western Australian Government:
i. urgently consult with Indigenous people in relation to the stolen wages issue; and
ii. establish a compensation scheme in relation to withholding, underpayment and non-payment of Indigenous wages and welfare entitlements using the New South Wales scheme as a model, and
b. the Commonwealth Government conduct preliminary research of its archival material in relation to the stolen wages issues in Western Australia.
5: that the Commonwealth Government in relation to the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, and the state governments of South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria:
a. urgently consult with Indigenous people in relation to the stolen wages issue;
b. conduct preliminary research of their archival material; and
c. if this consultation and research reveals that similar practices operated in relation to the withholding, underpayment or non-payment of Indigenous wages and welfare entitlements in these states, then establish compensation schemes using the New South Wales scheme as a model.
6: that the Queensland Government revises the terms of its reparations offer so that:
a. Indigenous claimants are fully compensated for monies withheld from them;
b. further time is provided for the lodgement of claims;
c. claimants are able to rely on oral and other circumstantial evidence where the records held by the state are incomplete or are allegedly affected by fraud or forgery;
d. new or further payments do not require claimants to indemnify the Queensland Government; and
e. the descendants of claimants who died before 9 May 2002 are included within the terms of the offer.

C: Requests:
a. the Federal Government to table a response to the report in the Senate by 7 August, 2007; and

b. state governments to provide a response to the Senate regarding those recommendations which are relevant to them.

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