• Event

Inquiry into Stolen Wages, Commonwealth of Australia


The ‘Inquiry into Stolen Wages’ was referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee on 13 June 2006 to identify the number of Indigenous workers in each State and Territory ‘whose paid labour was controlled by government’, the measures that were taken to safeguard them, and the mechanisms for ensuring the wages earned were paid to those people at the time or returned to them if they had been held in trust. If there was evidence of wages held in trust not being returned, the Inquiry sought to investigate mechanisms for redress.

Written submissions were sought and the Inquiry held a public hearing in Perth on 16 November 2006.

The Report, ‘Unfinished business: Indigenous Stolen Wages’ was published on 7 December 2006 and recommended (p.4) that the Western Australian Government should ‘urgently consult with Indigenous people in relation to the stolen wages issue’ and ‘establish a compensation scheme in relation to withholding, underpayment and non-payment of Indigenous wages and welfare entitlements’.

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