There is the potential for a legal challenge amongst stolen wages claimants in New South Wales, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) says.
In 2004, the Carr government announced the Aboriginal Trust Repayment Scheme to return lost monies to Aboriginal people who had their wages and entitlements held in trust funds.
The state was forced to act after a suppressed cabinet minute calling for the trust fund money to be fairly repaid, was leaked to media.
Under the scheme, which began accepting claims in 2005, individual cases were assessed by a government-appointed panel. Some historical records held by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs were accessed in order to determine what was owed.
Originally the amount paid was supposed to equal the amount withheld, with interest, and adjusted to today’s rates. In 2009, the scheme was changed so that all successful claimants received a one-off payment of $11,000.