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Minister must respond to 'Stolen Wages' findings

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 14 Dec 2006

The incoming state Minister for Indigenous Affairs Michelle Roberts must address the issue of stolen wages as a priority, said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

Senator Siewert is backing calls by the Goldfields Land and Sea Council to begin developing a compensation scheme for Aboriginal workers whose earnings and benefits were unfairly withheld.

"Western Australia stands out as one of the few states that have not yet begun to address this issue," said Senator Siewert.

"The Western Australian economy was built on the back of unpaid and underpaid labour of our Aboriginal people. They were systematically excluded from the benefits of the wealth they created."

"The findings of the Senate Inquiry into "Indigenous workers whose paid labour was controlled by Government", tabled in the Senate last week, indicated that the WA Government has a case to answer."

"It is shameful that the WA Government has not addressed this issue."

"I will be writing to Minister Roberts highlighting the relevant evidence and findings in the Senate report," said Senator Siewert.

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