121226 – WA govt’s “mean-spirited” refusal to extend Stolen Wages deadline: Tracker

* Amy McQuire, Tracker:
WA govt’s “mean-spirited” refusal to extend Stolen Wages deadline
* Stolen Wages: Many will miss out says ALSWA
[Aboriginal Legal Service of WA]
* Robin Chapple MLC:
Hundreds will miss out as Government refuses to
extend Stolen Wages Scheme
* ABC Indigenous: Payments flow to stolen wage victims
* Stolen Wages offer a ‘slap in the face’ says ALSWA
[Aboriginal Legal Service of WA]
* Gerry Georgatos, Indymedia Australia:
Stolen wages remain stolen with $2,000 offer
* Creative Spirits: Stolen Wages

* Martin Lukacs, The Guardian UK:
Canada’s First Nations protest heralds a new alliance
* Sovereign Union:
Howard recognised continuing Aboriginal sovereignty
* Background to the Aboriginal sovereignty movement

* Close The Gap Campaign:
Don’t slash Indigenous health funding: Close the Gap
* Close The Gap Committee: Submission to the
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan

* AMY MCQUIRE, TRACKER:
WA GOVT’S “MEAN-SPIRITED” REFUSAL TO EXTEND STOLEN WAGES DEADLINE

– News

newsTracker:
WA govt’s “mean-spirited” refusal to extend Stolen Wages deadline
http://tracker.org.au/2012/11/wa-govts-mean-spirited-refusal-to-extend-stolen-wages-deadline/
29 Nov 12: “WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Hundreds of Aboriginal
Western Australians who had their wages withheld from
successive state governments could miss out on a
reparations payment, after the Barnett government refused
to extend the deadline. The Stolen Wages Reparations Scheme
was announced earlier this year, offering a $2000 ex-gratia
payment in exchange for the millions of dollars in
Aboriginal wages and entitlements withheld within a system
of trust accounts from 1905 to 1972. The withholding of
wages and pensions compounded the disadvantage and poverty
of Aboriginal people throughout Western Australia.”
By Amy McQuire, a Darumbal and South Sea Islander woman,
editor of Tracker

See:

Stories by Amy McQuire – Tracker
http://tracker.org.au/author/amy/

About Tracker
http://tracker.org.au/about-us/
“Tracker magazine is a publication of the NSW Aboriginal
Land Council, Australia’s largest Aboriginal organisation.”

* STOLEN WAGES: MANY WILL MISS OUT SAYS ALSWA
[ABORIGINAL LEGAL SERVICE OF WA]:

– Media Release

Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia (Inc.) (ALSWA):
Stolen Wages: Many will miss out says ALSWA
http://www.als.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=242:stolen-wages-many-will-miss-out-says-alswa&catid=13:media-releases&Itemid=46
23 Nov 12: “With only one week to go until the Stolen Wages
Reparation Scheme closes, the Aboriginal Legal Service of
Western Australia (ALSWA) is disappointed that the WA
Government has refused to extend the deadline beyond 30th
November 2012.
Last month ALSWA wrote to the Minister for Indigenous
Affairs, Peter Collier MLC, seeking an extension, but the
Minister has refused. “I am so sad for all of the people
who will miss out on making an application, it is really
disheartening that after all they have already gone
through, they will be further disadvantaged through this
exclusionary time limit and limited criteria for
eligibility” said ALSWA CEO Dennis Eggington.
Since the scheme was announced in March this year, ALSWA
has become aware of approximately 1600 people who have
either expressed an interest in applying, or who ALSWA
believes may be eligible to apply for the ex gratia
payment of up to $2000. “Whilst the amount offered is
comparable with tea and flour, or the crumbs off of the
table, it is at least some reparation for those who so
greatly contributed to the economic power afforded to this
state today” said Mr. Eggington. … ”

See:

Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia (Inc.) (ALSWA)
http://www.als.org.au/
“Striving for justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples in Western Australia for over thirty years.”

* ROBIN CHAPPLE MLC:
HUNDREDS WILL MISS OUT AS GOVERNMENT REFUSES
TO EXTEND STOLEN WAGES SCHEME

– News

Robin Chapple MLC:
Hundreds will miss out as Government refuses
to extend Stolen Wages Scheme
http://robinchapple.com/hundreds-will-miss-out-government-refuses-extend-stolen-wages-scheme
28 Nov 12: “Greens Member of Parliament Robin Chapple MLC
has lashed out at the Barnett/Grylls Government’s refusal
to extend the deadline of the Stolen Wages Reparation
Scheme, accusing the Premier and the Minister for
Aboriginal Affairs Peter Collier of being unjust, unfair
and mean-spirited. “The WA Government is very good at
paying lip service to the needs of Aboriginal people but
puts its head firmly in the sand when it comes time to
follow through with practical assistance,” Mr Chapple
said. “The $2,000 payment to compensate Indigenous
workers who had their wages held in trust by successive
state governments until the 1970s is paltry enough.
“But to deny people even that tiny sum by closing the
scheme just 9 months after it was announced is nothing
short of malevolent. … “”

See:

Robin Chapple MLC: Aboriginal Issues
http://robinchapple.com/aboriginal-issues

Robin Chapple MLC: Member for Mining and Pastoral Region
http://robinchapple.com/
“Robin Chapple was first elected to the Western Australian
Legislative Council on February 10, 2001. He is the first
member of the Greens (WA) ever elected for the vast Mining
and Pastoral Region.”

The Greens (WA): MLC – Robin Chapple
http://wa.greens.org.au/content/mlc-robin-chapple
“With a background in engineering, Aboriginal community
development, local government, and mining, Robin Chapple is
well qualified to represent the vast Mining and Pastoral
Region.”

* ABC INDIGENOUS: PAYMENTS FLOW TO STOLEN WAGE VICTIMS

– News

ABC Indigenous: Payments flow to stolen wage victims
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-21/stolen-wages-payments-flow/4440398/?site=indigenous&topic=latest
21 Dec 12: “The State Government has begun distributing
millions of dollars to Aboriginal Western Australians who
had wages withheld until the 1970s. The Minister for
Indigenous Affairs opened a nine-month window for eligible
people to apply for a $2,000 ex gratia payment. … There
were almost 700 applicant from the south-west and
Goldfields, 192 Gascoyne and Pilbara applicants and 500
from the Kimberley. About 600 came from the metropolitan
region.”

ABC Indigenous: Compensation for stolen Aboriginal wages
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-21/aboriginal-stolen-wage-claims/4440566/?site=indigenous&topic=latest
21 Dec 12: “The State Government has begun distributing
millions of dollars to Indigenous West Australians who had
their wages withheld from the 1900s until the 1970s.
Earlier this year the Minister for Indigenous Affairs,
Peter Collier, created a scheme which allowed eligible
people to apply for a $2,000 ex gratia payment. The scheme
was open for nine months.”

See:

ABC Indigenous – Home
http://www.abc.net.au/indigenous/

* STOLEN WAGES OFFER A ‘SLAP IN THE FACE’ SAYS ALSWA
[ABORIGINAL LEGAL SERVICE OF WA]:

– Media Release

Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia (Inc.) (ALSWA):
Stolen wages offer a ‘slap in the face’ says ALSWA
http://www.als.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=230:stolen-wages-offer-a-slap-in-the-face-says-alswa&catid=13:media-releases&Itemid=46
6 Mar 12: “The Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia
(ALSWA) has slammed the WA State Government’s offer of up
to $2000.00 to Aboriginal workers whose past wages were
stolen by the state.
“This is a slap in the face and a cruel and heartless offer
which offends the very notion of recompense” said ALSWA
CEO Adjunct Professor Dennis Eggington. “This is not just
about stolen wages or pensions that were withheld, nor is
it about coming up with an equitable scheme. This state’s
economic power was built upon the backs of hard working,
proud Indigenous men and women who had their hard earned
wages withheld. To now offer these people such a paltry
amount diminishes the contributions that our people have
made. Any offer made must also ensure that monies are
repaid in terms of today’s monetary value” said Mr.
Eggington.
This offer comes six years after ALSWA’s submission to the
Senate Inquiry into Stolen Wages recommending the just
return of stolen wages to Aboriginal workers. … ”

See:

Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia (Inc.) (ALSWA)
http://www.als.org.au/
“Striving for justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples in Western Australia for over thirty years.”

* GERRY GEORGATOS, INDYMEDIA AUSTRALIA:
STOLEN WAGES REMAIN STOLEN WITH $2,000 OFFER

– Analysis / Opinion

Indymedia Australia:
Stolen wages remain stolen with $2,000 offer
http://indymedia.org.au/2012/03/08/stolen-wages-remain-stolen-with-2000-offer
8 Mar 12: “The Stolen Wages campaign has taken an almighty
setback in Western Australia when the state government
tossed up a disturbingly paltry compensation offer – and
which requires one to extinguish all rights to any further
claims if they accept the offer. According to the state’s
Indigenous Affairs Minister, Peter Collier, there are at
best only 1,400 ‘legitimate’ claimants and he has ruled out
the right of families to claim or benefit. Minister
Collier, on behalf of the Colin Barnett government has
ruled out 100% redress for the wages withheld by
government agencies from Aboriginal workers, and is
limiting compensation to a one-off maximum cap $2000
payment.” By Gerry Georgatos

– Further Background References

Indymedia Australia:
Stolen wages remain stolen with $2,000 offer
[scroll down page to bottom of article] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/03/08/stolen-wages-remain-stolen-with-2000-offer

See:

Gerry Georgatos – Indymedia Australia
http://indymedia.org.au/users/gerry-georgatos

About Indymedia Australia
http://indymedia.org.au/about
“Indymedia is a collective providing a platform for
grassroots media-makers to create radical, accurate, and
passionate coverage of struggles and movements working for
social, environmental and economic justice.
Everyone is a witness. Everyone is a journalist.”

* CREATIVE SPIRITS: STOLEN WAGES

– Background Research

Creative Spirits: Stolen Wages
http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/economy/stolen-wages
“From the late 1800s until the 1970s Aboriginal workers
were for all intents and purposes enslaved. They were
denied access to their wages which in many cases were
simply stolen by corrupt officials and employers. It locked
them into a cycle of poverty. Governments and churches have
made it difficult to access records and there is a general
reluctance to pay the monies withheld.”

See:

Creative Spirits – Aboriginal Australia, Photography and Poems
http://www.creativespirits.info/index.html

About Creative Spirits
http://www.creativespirits.info/about.html

* MARTIN LUKACS, THE GUARDIAN UK:
CANADA’S FIRST NATIONS PROTEST HERALDS A NEW ALLIANCE

– News

The Guardian UK:
Canada’s First Nations protest heralds a new alliance
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/20/canada-first-nations-new-alliance
20 Dec 12: “The grassroots IdleNoMore movement of
aboriginal people offers a more sustainable future for all
Canadians … Canada’s placid winter surface has been
broken by unprecedented protests by its aboriginal peoples.
In just a few weeks, a small campaign launched against the
Conservative government’s budget bill by four aboriginal
women has expanded and transformed into a season of
discontent: a cultural and political resurgence. It has
seen rallies in dozens of cities, a disruption of
legislature, blockades of major highways, drumming flash
mobs in malls, a flurry of Twitter activity under the
hashtag #IdleNoMore and a hunger strike by Chief Theresa
Spence, in a tepee minutes from Ottawa’s parliament.”
By Martin Lukacs, an independent journalist,
an editor with the Canadian grassroots newspaper the Dominion

See:

Martin Lukacs – The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/martin-lukacs

Information – The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/info

* SOVERIEGN UNION:
HOWARD RECOGNISED CONTINUING ABORIGINAL SOVEREIGNTY

– Media Release

Sovereign Union:
John Howard recognised continuing Aboriginal sovereignty
in his Ten Point Plan for limiting Native Title
http://nationalunitygovernment.org/content/john-howard-recognised-continuing-aboriginal-sovereignty-his-ten-point-plan-limiting-native
21 Dec 12: “Michael Anderson, Tamworth, NSW …
With the passage of time it is now painfully obvious that
former Prime Minister, John Howard, fully realised that
Aboriginal peoples maintain a very powerful position in
Australia, so much so, that by amending the Native Title
Act in 1998 he demonstrated the inherent power of
Aboriginal peoples, which stems from our continuing
sovereignty.
Having now reviewed his Ten Point Plan it is important for
us, as First Nations Peoples, to revisit John Howard’s
amendments and what they meant. … ”

See:

Sovereign Union – First Nations Interim National Unity Government:
Asserting Australia’s First Nations Sovereignty into Governance
http://www.sovereignunion.mobi/
http://nationalunitygovernment.org/

About ‘Sovereign Union’
http://www.sovereignunion.mobi/node/3
“This is the official website of the Sovereign Union of
First Nations and Peoples in Australia.
The Sovereign Union was first formed at a meeting on 12-14
June 1999 on Mt Kaputar, near Narrabri, NSW. A delegation
was sent to Geneva to the UN Working Group of the
Commission on Human Rights to take our sovereign voices to
the international community.
The Sovereign Union was further formalised with a
Foundation Meeting of the ‘Sovereign Union – interim Unity
Government’ at the Kuradji Tent Embassy, near Wollongong,
New South Wales on May 25 2012.”

* BACKGROUND TO THE ABORIGINAL SOVEREIGNTY MOVEMENT:

Last updated: 22 December 2012

http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/22/background-to-the-aboriginal-sovereignty-movement-and-the-aboriginal-tent-embassies

* CLOSE THE GAP CAMPAIGN:
DON’T SLASH INDIGENOUS HEALTH FUNDING: CLOSE THE GAP

– Media Release

Close the Gap Campaign:
Don’t slash Indigenous health funding: Close the Gap
AHRC: http://humanrights.gov.au/about/media/media_releases/2012/117_12.html
21 Dec 12: “The Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee
today called on the Federal Government to maintain
Indigenous health funding, in its submission to the
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan.
The plan, for which consultations have been held over the
past 8 weeks, will replace the National Strategic Framework
for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health which
expires in 2013.
Close the Gap Campaign co-chair Mick Gooda said the
Steering Committee commended the government on its
commitment to develop a long term plan to Close the Gap,
a longstanding call of the Campaign. …
Mr Gooda said the campaign was seeking assurances from
the Government that investment in Indigenous health
funding would continue after this period, given all
parties had committed to the 2030 target to close the
gap on Indigenous health inequality.
“We cannot take our eye off the ball or fall into any sense
of complacency in relation to Indigenous health,” he said.”

See:

Close the Gap – Campaign for Indigenous Health Equality
http://humanrights.gov.au/social_justice/health/index.html
“The poorer health of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander peoples when compared to the non-Indigenous
population is no secret – and something can be done about
it. Since 2006, Australia’s peak Indigenous and
non-Indigenous health bodies, NGOs and human rights
organisations have worked together to achieve health and
life expectation equality for Australia’s Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander peoples. This is known as the Close
the Gap Campaign. … ”

* CLOSE THE GAP COMMITTEE: SUBMISSION TO THE
NATIONAL ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER HEALTH PLAN

– Submission

Submission to the
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan
Close The Gap Campaign Steering Committee
December 2012
AHRC: http://humanrights.gov.au/social_justice/health/20121220_CTG_Health_Plan_Submission%20Final.html
“7 Conclusion:
71. The Campaign Steering Committee believes that it is
critical that the Health Plan demonstrates ambition and
reach befitting the target to close the life expectancy
gap by 2030. It is equally imperative that the Health Plan
continue to be developed in genuine partnership with
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their
representative organisations. Furthermore, for the
implementation of the Health Plan to be effective it must
have a resources strategy and monitoring and
accountability mechanisms.
72. The Campaign Steering Committee will continue to work
with the NHLF as Health Plan is being developed. It will
also actively monitor this process and the subsequent
implementation of the Health Plan.” page 22

– – –

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