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