Redress WA - motion
Date:Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Hon Sue Ellery; Hon Robyn McSweeney; Deputy President; Hon Nick Goiran; Hon Adele Farina; Hon Linda Savage; Hon Alison Xamon
Resumed from 20 June on the following motion moved by Hon Sue Ellery —
That this house agrees with the comments by Premier Barnett that the government‘s decision to cut the maximum payment available to Redress WA applicants from $80 000 to $45 000 was "a bit too tough", notes the devastating effect this second betrayal has had on many of the applicants and calls on the government to re-visit this decision.
HON ALISON XAMON (East Metropolitan) [4.12 pm]: I rise on behalf of the Greens (WA) to indicate that the Greens support the original wording of the motion and that we will not support the amendment to the motion. In fact, I will express my concern. I am surprised that the amendment was even able to be moved in this way because I certainly think that it is contrary entirely to the spirit and the intent of the original motion, and I am concerned about that. However, I wish to make many comments about the whole issue of Redress, and in doing so I think it will become very clear why the Greens feel so strongly that we should certainly be asking the government, at the very least, to revisit this decision and to recognise that the damage that occurred as a result of the decision to halve the Redress payments needs to be acknowledged and addressed, and why I do not think that it is in order for this house to be looking to congratulate a decision that has caused so much pain to so many people.
Over half a million children were in institutions and in care during the last century, and in Western Australia an estimated 55 000 children have been under state care since 1920. The three main cohorts of people who experienced out-of-home care during childhood were former child migrants, and I have spoken about particularly this cohort of children many times in this place; members of the stolen generations and other people of Indigenous heritage; and, of course, the forgotten Australians, whom I have also spoken about—that is, the non-Aboriginal Australian-born people who, as children, were placed in orphanages and other forms of out-of-home care prior to the 1980s. What we know now, and has been emerging steadily throughout the last few years, is that many of these children suffered unspeakable treatment while they were in care—while the state had a duty to protect them. We are talking about brutal beatings, horrific sexual abuse, neglect and deprivation. As a result, many are enduring adulthoods that have been marred by their damaged childhoods.
Debate adjourned, pursuant to standing orders.
Sitting suspended from 4.15 to 4.30 pm