Since lodging proceedings in September 2016, the stolen wages class action has seen enormous progress in the court and community outreach efforts.

The BELAW team has travelled far and wide across Queensland, meeting with potential claimants in remote communities and spreading the word about the class action. The class action team have visited more than 25 towns, from the Torres Strait Islands to Camooweal to Cherbourg, with an impressive sum of 2,300 claimants expressing interest in joining the class action. BELAW have been thrilled with the response.

The feedback on the action within communities has been hugely positive, particularly in response to the class action including claims on behalf of a deceased estate. This allows people to submit applications on behalf of their parents, many of whom worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week on remote cattle stations.

The action essentially aims to put the person, or the estate of the deceased person, back into the position they or it would have been in, had the State’s breach of trust not occurred.

Our lead applicant, Hans Pearson, is optimistic. “We will just keep fighting, they’ve got the money to fight us, but I hope that justice will be done that they’ll be compassionate with us and just give us what they owe us” he said.

The matter is before the Federal Court in Brisbane on 24 May 2017 for directions.