Again, a case of impeachment of basic human rights has come to the fore in Australia. The indigenous Australian population, whose survival canvas is constantly interrupted by violations of human rights have yet another untold story that chronicles their struggle for survival in the country.
Indigenous people in Western Australia, who worked as for wages, went uncompensated for decades. Now a class action is being prepared to remunerate these workers.
Lawyers have started this movement, travelling across the length and breath of the country to locate families of the victims of the wage free era. Until 1972, the West Australian government suspended up to three quarters of wages earned by Aboriginal people. A full refund was assured by the West Australian Government, but there is no trace of any initiative anywhere in the records.
An attempt to address the issue was made in 2012 which was answered by a one-off payment to a handful of workers. Since then, there has been absolute silence on the matter from the government.
WA Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation chairman Jim Morrison said he had been in talks with lawyers about a class action for months. He was encouraged by the Queensland Government’s news that it would pay close to $200 millions to workers and their families and heirs. Western Australia, however, according to him, has shown a very nonchalant response to this announcement.
The workers were made to work and almost 60-70% of their wages were put in different trusts. These “stolen wages” victims will now come nearer to receiving what is due to them if this initiative finds a happy ending. The government is being urged to probe the matter, due to the evident scale it has affected.