Queensland Senator Andrew Bartlett says the State Government is once again refusing to return money to Indigenous Queenslanders who rightly earned it.
"The announcement today by the Queensland Government regarding Indigenous Stolen Wages compounds the injustice of the original inadequate offer made on this issue six years ago," Senator Bartlett said.
"It has been established beyond doubt that many Indigenous people in Queensland earned millions of dollars that was never properly paid to them, including some that was taken and then spent by the State Government through a so-called ‘Trust Fund’.
“Incredibly, instead of paying people their money back, the Government is once again putting some of it in a Foundation to fund scholarships which should be coming out of normal Government expenditure.
"It is simply laughable for the Government to say that this payment is ‘an acknowledgement of the wrongs and harms caused by past government policies’.
"There is not one single extra cent beyond what was put forward in 2002. The Government has taken six years and many hours of so-called consultation with Aboriginal people to then ignore what the majority of them want and in effect keep a portion of what was an already inadequate offer for themselves.
"This money was properly earned by people and they or their descendents should get it back. This is what the clear majority of Indigenous Queenslanders affected by the Stolen Wages issue want, and it is what any person in the community would expect."
"Anything else is an insult," Senator Bartlett concluded.