Queensland Government Stealing Indigenous Workers Wages Again

In 2002 the Queensland Government made an offer of $55.4 million to the indigenous workers who's wages they had stolen. But the process adopted by the government excluded many workers with genuine claims. This meant that only $20 million was distributed to workers since 2002. Instead of distributing the remaining $35.8 million in accordance with the original promise, the government has decided to make a series of smaller second round payments totalling $14.6 million. The remaining $21.1 million will be quarantined into the newly created Indigenous Queenslanders Fund.

The Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) is determined to achieve wage justice for these workers. On 19 August 2009 litigation commenced in the District Court with proceedings underway on behalf of Uncle Conrad Yeatman from Yarrabah. Uncle Conrad, a former carpenter and labourer, had his wages withheld from him since he began work at 14. His story is one of hundreds the QCU has heard in its travels around indigenous communities. Click here to download the Stolen Wages Petition.