Stolen wages class action reaches historic settlement

  • WA Government commits to Stolen Wages Class Action settlement
  • Eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be entitled to payments

The Western Australian Government has reached a settlement agreement that supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who worked in Western Australia for little or no wages between 1936 and 1972.

The settlement, which remains subject to court approval, recognises the government policies and controls in place during this period.

These historical policies resulted in many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly those working in the Kimberley region, on pastoral stations and within Native Institutions being paid little or no wages in the claim period.

The WA Government will pay into an administered fund a sum of $16,500 in respect of each eligible claimant, up to a total of $165 million. This maximum total figure would only be paid if there are 10,000 or more eligible claimants.

An additional sum of up to $15.4 million is set aside for the applicant’s assessed legal costs.

The sum to be distributed to each eligible claimant will be determined by the Federal Court and will be dependent on the number of eligible claimants and other deductions to be approved by the Federal Court.

This will occur following a registration process to be led by Shine Lawyers, which the Court will be asked to approve.

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