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 $190m class action: payment for sins of the past!

10.07.19.  Stand by folks, the bleeding of your cash won’t stop until you have none left to let. I don’t dispute the fairness of this settlement. Unfortunately, the blame for this theft of wages sits with administrators of the past, most, if not all are now dead. And now, all will share their legacy thought clever at the time—even promoted perhaps?
The Queensland government will pay $190 million in historical “stolen­ wages” to indigenous workers, to settle a class action that has been hailed as being as importan­t as the High Court’s Mabo decision on native title. The precedent-setting deal cut yesterday will put pressure on NSW, Western Australia and the Northern Territory to strike simila­r settlements, with spin-off class-action compensation cases already in the works. 

Source: Jaime Walker, News Corp

Uncle Hans’ stolen wages deal the new Mabo

More than 10,000 former workers or their descendants in Queensland will share the $190m pool, the fifth-largest class action award made in Australia.
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said it righted the “historic­ wrongs” inflicted on indig­enous people whose affairs where managed under so-called protection acts from 1939 to 1972.
“This settlement has been reached in the spirit of reconcil­iation and in recognition of the legacy and impact of the ‘control’ policies on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders, includin­g elders past and present,” Ms Trad said.
“On reaching settlement, the Queensland government is also mindful of those who have since passed and those who are ageing, and will work with the applicants’ legal representatives to progress the settlement in an expedient manner.”
The lead applicant, Hans Pearson, 80, is a former stockman who says the £7000 of wages withheld by the Queensland government over a decade in the 1950s and 1960s cost him the chance to buy a house.
“This has been a long, 12-year road,” said a delighted Mr Pearson, an uncle of prominent indigenous leader Noel Pearson.
His nephew, who has ranked stolen wages alongside Mabo in significance for indigenous people, said last night the settlement was “some measure” of recompense for a great injustice.
“He knew Eddie Mabo well while they lived and worked in Townsville in the 70s,” Noel ­Pearson told The Australian.
“In his own way, Uncle Hans followed his old mate Koiki in getting­ some justice for his people.
“We could only give him our moral support while I feared he was too old to carry the case through. In his 80th year, he has achieved some justice for himself and his generation of workers who had helped to build Queensland and who were cheated.”
Class action lawyers are now working on similar claims in other states, with NSW, WA and the Territory likely to be targeted first because, alongside Queensland, they have Australia’s largest remote­ indigenous populations.
Broadly, the same historical employment mechanism applied.
In Queensland, the wages of indigeno­us men and women were paid to the state, which was suppose­d to hold the money in trust. In reality, many workers were denied payment or short-changed.
Hans Pearson was heartbroken to receive a token £28 when he went to collect his wages from a police sergeant.
“I said, ‘Is this all I’m getting?’, and he said, ‘Well, that’s all you have after 10 years of working’,” Mr Pearson recalled.
The chairman of the Litigation Lending group that helped fund the class action, Shaun Bonett, said the case represented “one of the most important resolutions in Australian history”.
After legal costs are deducted from the settlement, the 10,000 Queensland claimants will be entitled­ on average to between $15,000 and $20,000 through a distribution scheme run by the Federal Court.
Surviving workers account for only 40 per cent of those covered by the class action, underlining the need to expedite payments
The remaining claimants are descendants of deceased people who could be shown to be owed historical wages.
Litigation Lending chief executive Stuart Price said preparation for flow-on class actions was well advanced: “But we really hope the other states and territ­ories take the bold step that Queensland did, which is to recogn­ise that this is another elemen­t of the reconciliation process, and not put people through the litigation process.”
Hans Pearson credited his late wife, Anna, for inspiring him to pursue a case that took nine years to reach court in 2016 and another three years to settle.
“Without her starting the ball rolling, nothing would have happened­,” he said.
“On behalf of the thousands of people who are now part of this settlement, I want to thank everyone who supported our claim.”
Lawyers for Mr Pearson and the other claimants alleged the state had breached its duties as a trustee and fiduciary by withholding wages that had been paid to it for safekeeping.
The state was also accused of making unauthorised withdrawals and welfare deductions, failing to collect wages that were owed and failing to credit interest and investment income.
In settling the class action, the Queensland government made no admission of liability.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Pensioner Pete 10/07/2019, 6:56 am

    This latest outcome is but the second time a partial payment of all the wages kept by the Queensland government from indigenous workers. Peter Beattie was the first to kick off, refers: http://antarqld.org.au/node/19

    Governments either of State or Federal persuasion are very well practiced at relieving the populace of their hard earnt cash. For example, the ‘Flash for Cash’ cameras, the parking ‘fines’ and all the other invented ways to empty our wallets so the politicians may continue their spending free for all (if a polly).

    I wonder, now the current Queensland Labor government has been forced to recognise the sins of past in this instance, will it look to the more recent past when then Treasurer Curtis Pitt stole $4.7 from the public service QSuper fund? Refers: https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/superannuation/2015/07/14/queenslanders-just-got-super-raided-okay-isnt/

    • Pensioner Pete 10/07/2019, 7:53 am

      err… That is $4.7 Billion Curtis Pitt relieved the QSuper fund of.

  • Botswana O'Hooligan 10/07/2019, 7:48 am

    My father got his drover boss boy out from under the act and a few others also got their workers out too. Some cops were crooked and pocketed the money paid in but most weren’t. Abo’s employed in the bush became too expensive to feed and keep for the whole family and extended family were included so they drifted in to towns etc. and got on the grog. Missions were no longer run by missionaries and are now so bloody bad that you can’t leave an aeroplane parked there overnight because it will be wrecked, a joke in the Peninsular goes, “look at that joint, more new Toyotas than Hopevale.” If the abo’s waste and drink what they get now, just think of what they are going to do with another 190 million. The only way to resolve their problem lies with them, governments can’t resolve their problems so they have to do it themselves.

  • seadogger 10/07/2019, 8:08 am

    A nice little kick along for publicans Oz wide

  • Penguinte 10/07/2019, 8:22 am

    As you say MM ed, can’t argue with the payout! It’s been a long time coming! Just wonder if that includes $$$ for deceased folk?

    • Botswana O'Hooligan 10/07/2019, 1:00 pm

      How about reimbursing all the families who fed and supported the whole bloody tribe one way or the other plus having to get by when the work day starts and you discover that they have gone walkabout and you have stock to work. Pubs will do well though as SD writes above and the cops will get some overtime sorting their brawls out.

  • TL46 10/07/2019, 8:54 am

    I think most people missed the point. The payout is a stimulus package for rural Qld towns combined with a vote buying excise.

  • Grumpy-old-woman 10/07/2019, 1:36 pm

    I’m so over this bs
    I have a proposition for the govt, I want a payout for my pain and suffering as a child of migrant parents. Constantly discriminated against and bullied including getting called four eyes, doesn’t your heart bleed!
    Just because I did better than any of them isn’t the point! I want my money! Then I can join my relatives in USA and vote for Trump!

  • Thunder 10/07/2019, 3:07 pm

    It’s NOT your money, Commie Trad……….H…F…
    We don’t owe the Boongs a brass razzue.
    Typical Labor/Union Scam Merchants………

    And Turd Two (scomo) wants us to vote and give the MFers even more!!

    My answer it NO and Never another penny………..

  • Peter W 10/07/2019, 5:58 pm

    ….well there goes any idea of a constitutional referendum.

    Nothing will ever change, demands demands demands…..

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