• It's estimated about $500m was stolen from Indigenous people in Queensland. (Douglas Smith.)Source: Douglas Smith.
Administrators for the $190 million Stolen Wages Settlement Distribution Scheme are travelling to Indigenous communities in QLD in a last bid effort to confirm banking details for the 2,800 registered claimants.
Douglas Smith

5 Oct 2020 - 12:36 PM  UPDATED 5 Oct 2020 - 12:36 PM

At least 2,800 historic stolen wages claimants are at risk of missing out on money owed to them in Queensland, as the deadline to submit their details to receive a payment from the landmark $190 million settlement closes on Friday.

Administrators for the Stolen Wages Settlement Distribution Scheme are currently on the road in a last bid effort to find registered claimants in regional and remote Indigenous communities in Queensland in order to obtain their banking details. 

Speaking to NITV News last week, the appointed administrator for the settlement funds, Anthony Bevan, said people will not receive their payments if they haven’t provided their bank details and photo identification. 

“We just have to verify that they’re an actual person and the photo ID is a way of doing that,” said Mr Beven. 

“We’ve reached a stage where we just haven’t been able to contact about 2,800 people and have them supply the details to support their claims.”

In July last year, the Queensland government signed the record settlement to compensate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers who had their wages stolen from them over three decades from 1939. 

Since then, around 14,500 people have come forward to register as claimants, however, there are still around 2,800 people who are yet to submit the requisite details to administrators of the settlement. 

This week, Mr Beven and his team will be visiting communities in Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands. 

“Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday next week [this week] we’re on Thursday Island, and we’re also in Normanton on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday next week.”

It is estimated up to $500m was stolen from Indigenous workers in Queensland across the period.

What happened at Normanton
For 10 years, stockman Roy Savo worked 17-hour days for no pay, in what is now known as the 'Stolen Wages'. But what happened at Normanton, is what he'll never forget.