Jan Barham MLC, the Greens NSW spokesperson on Aboriginal Affairs and Chair of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Reparations for the Stolen Generations, has welcomed the NSW Government’s response to the inquiry’s 35 recommendations.
“This strong commitment to act on reparations is welcome, it’s significant, and it’s long overdue,” Ms Barham said.
“It’s almost twenty years since the Bringing Them Home report into forcible removals was tabled. It would be better if we hadn’t needed two decades and another inquiry to get here, but I’m glad that our committee’s recommendations have received such strong support in the Government’s response.”
The response tabled today indicates that the NSW Government will provide a reparations package that involves more than $73 million, including ex gratia payments as well as support for survivors’ groups and programs and services focused on individual and collective healing to address the intergenerational impacts of the Stolen Generations.
“The financial reparations scheme leads the way among the states who have established compensation for the Stolen Generations, but what is most important is the acknowledgement, the healing and the certainty that comes from a comprehensive approach to reparations. That was captured in our inquiry’s recommendations and can now be delivered with the Government’s support.
“I’m grateful to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Leslie Williams, for her commitment, engagement and respect in addressing this issue. It’s important that she not only delivered this response, but that she made sure to meet with the Stolen Generations survivors to explain the detail of the Government’s response.
“Our inquiry’s report was a unanimous one and I want to acknowledge the contributions of all committee members who recognised the importance of this issue and worked to deliver these recommendations for the New South Wales Government to act on.
“But most of all I acknowledge those Stolen Generations survivors who came forward again and told their stories to our inquiry, and who have waited so long for governments and society to genuinely acknowledge and address the wrongdoing and harms they suffered,” Ms Barham concluded.
For further comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0447 853 891