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Momentum grows for WA Stolen Generations compo scheme as MP backs petition

Emma Ruben -

A WA Greens MP has backed the petition to establish a state reparations scheme for survivors of the Stolen Generation in Western Australia, one of the only two states without one in place.

WA and Queensland are the only two Australian jurisdictions without a compensation scheme in place.

In May of this year, Bringing Them Home WA, Yokai and Kimberley Stolen Generation Aboriginal Corporation launched a petition urging the WA government to follow other states and territories.

Greens MP Brad Pettitt has now backed their petition for the state government to compensate Stolen Generation survivors.

WA Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation chairman Jim Morrison said there was a lack of public awareness about Stolen Generation survivors and descendants in WA.

"We would encourage any political party to look at reparations as they've done in other states but for some reason seemed to have omitted in Western Australia and Queensland," he said.

"Sadly a lot of broader Australians don't understand removal because they're not taught it in schools...that truth telling needs to be a big part of the current government's way forward.

"This state has got one of the highest numbers, 57 per cent are stolen generation survivors or descendants.

"So it remains to be seen whether the current political party has a commitment."

WA Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti previously said the government would review the petition.

"The forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families, their country, and their culture is without a doubt one of the most shameful chapters in Australian history, which has resulted in trauma and pain," he said.

"While there is no simple solution, particularly for social issues that have been generations in the making, the WA Government is very committed to a more dignified and prosperous future for Aboriginal people.

"It's acknowledged that no amount of money or programs will ever be able to make up for the pain and suffering endured by members of the Stolen Generations, but we can commit ourselves to truth-telling and support the healing process."

The new petition launched on May 26 calls on WA's Legislative Council to inquire into compensation schemes established in other states with a view to enact a similar scheme in WA.


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