Stolen Gen­er­a­tion waits for compo while ex-MP is paid $2000 a week

The Advertiser - - NEWS - MATT SMITH

THE for­mer La­bor Min­is­ter tasked with dis­tribut­ing com­pen­sa­tion for mem­bers of the Stolen Gen­er­a­tion has been paid the equiv­a­lent of about $2000 a week while just 11 of a pos­si­ble 450 vic­tims have re­ceived any com­pen­sa­tion.

Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs Min­is­ter Kyam Ma­her has re­vealed that Stolen Gen­er­a­tions Repa­ra­tion Scheme in­de­pen­dent as­ses­sor John Hill has been paid $120,000 for his role be­tween April 2016 and June 2017.

Mr Hill, a for­mer Rann gov­ern­ment min­is­ter, will earn $200,000 for his 26-month con­tract, or about $7700 per month. Doc­u­ments tabled in Par­lia­ment this week show that just 11 ex-gra­tia pay­ments, to­talling $55,000, have been to SA stolen gen­er­a­tion vic­tims by Au­gust this year.

The doc­u­ments also show five el­i­gi­ble peo­ple had died while wait­ing for com­pen­sa­tion.

The State Gov­ern­ment com­pen­sa­tion scheme will fund up to $6 mil­lion in ex­gra­tia pay­ments to in­di­vid­u­als who are mem­bers of the Stolen Gen­er­a­tion and an­other $5 mil­lion for in­dige­nous projects.

Pay­ments of up to $50,000 for vic­tims were spruiked when the scheme was an­nounced. How­ever, fi­nal pay­ments could end up be­ing less than $20,000 due to the greater-than-an­tic­i­pated de­mand.

Op­po­si­tion Leader Steven Mar­shall said the sit­u­a­tion was unac­cept­able. “This is meant to be a com­pen­sa­tion scheme for the Stolen Gen­er­a­tion, not a golden hand­shake for an exLa­bor min­is­ter,” Mr Mar­shall said.

“It is shock­ing that John Hill’s $200,000 wage will make him the largest ben­e­fi­ciary of the com­pen­sa­tion scheme by a fac­tor of four.”

Mr Hill also re­ceives $148,000 a year from his par­lia­men­tary pen­sion.

Mr Ma­her said Mr Mar­shall, who ear­lier this year said he would not sup­port a treaty with Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple, had no place com­ment­ing on Abo­rig­i­nal af­fairs.

“Steven Mar­shall has once again proven he’s at odds with Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple, many of whom have deep re­spect for John Hill and his com­mit­ment to Stolen Gen­er­a­tion vic­tims,” Mr Ma­her said. “The State Gov­ern­ment re­ceived 447 ap­pli­ca­tions for com­pen­sa­tion un­der the State Gov­ern­ment’s $11 mil­lion Stolen Gen­er­a­tions Repa­tri­a­tion Scheme – far more than the 250 an­tic­i­pated.

“Mr Hill has al­ready per­son­ally met with al­most 300 ap­pli­cants to lis­ten to and doc­u­ment their sto­ries.”

Mr Ma­her said $1.3 mil­lion had been dis­trib­uted “through ex­pe­dited pay­ments to in­di­vid­u­als and to sup­port projects or pro­grams that will pro­mote heal­ing for mem­bers of the Stolen Gen­er­a­tions, their fam­i­lies and the wider com­mu­nity.”

How­ever, he did not de­tail how many in­di­vid­u­als had re­ceived fund­ing to date.

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