A looming December deadline for claims lodged with the Aboriginal Trust Fund Repayment Scheme
has raised concerns about fairness and transparency.
Less than 2000 claims have been processed by the Scheme in
the five years in which it has been operating. The Scheme must now process more
than double that number in less than five months if it is to finalise all
outstanding claims before the Scheme closes on 31 December 2010.
In an interview with ABC TV, PIAC Acting Principal Solicitor Vavaa Mawuli said the backlog of claims is a huge concern for PIAC’s Indigenous Justice
Project and for other advocacy groups.
‘We want to ensure that claims are processed expediently and
in a manner which is fair and transparent and affords procedural fairness to
all claimants,’ Ms Mawuli said.
PIAC is running a Stolen Wages Helpline to assist claimants. The helpline provides free information and advice by telephone to people who have made claims to the Aboriginal Trust Fund Repayment Scheme for unpaid wages, child endowment or other trust money.
The Stolen Wages Helpline operates on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and on Friday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. For free information and advice, call (02) 8898 6544.
PIctured is Redfern resident
and Stolen Wages claimant, Vince Peters. Image
courtesy of Sydney Central Newspaper and News Ltd, Photo Phil Rogers.