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Notice to group members: Stolen Wages Class Action


Hans Pearson v State of Queensland (Federal Court of Australia, Queensland Registry, QUD714 of 2016)

Mr Hans Pearson has brought a class action in the Federal Court against the State of Queensland on behalf of all Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders who weren’t paid all their wages between 1939 and 1972; and on behalf of Aboriginals who between 1945 and 1966 were required to work on a settlement or mission.

The applicant and the respondent have agreed to a settlement of the class action. The proposed settlement means that the State of Queensland will pay $190 million inclusive for compensation and legal fees. The settlement is subject to approval by the Federal Court and the court will hold a settlement approval hearing on 21 November 2019.

At the hearing the applicant intends to seek the deduction of legal costs incurred in conducting the case of approximately $12.5m, and the deduction of litigation funding charges of approximately $38m to be paid to the litigation funder who took the risks of the case and paid the legal costs.

If those deductions are approved by the court there will be about $139.5m remaining to compensate people covered by the class action.

This is a summary notice. There is a longer notice which is on the Stolen Wages website (see below), which you should read in full too.


You are eligible to make a claim for compensation in this case if:

  1. You are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  2. You lived in a district or on a mission or reserve in Queensland and:
    a) You had a paid job at some time during 1939 to 1972 (the claim period)
    b) Your pay was controlled by the Queensland Government or the head of the mission or reserve at some point during the claim period; OR
  3. If you are an Aboriginal, between 1945 and 1966 you were required to work on a settlement or mission; OR
  4. You are a living spouse or immediate child of a deceased person who satisfied 1 and 2 above or 3 above.

All group members need to register their claims in order to receive compensation.

If you are already a client of Bottoms English Lawyers and registered with them as a group member, you do not need to register again for compensation.

If you have not registered as a group member, you need to register your claim to receive any compensation.


What do you need to do if you want to register your claim?

If you want to register your claim or the claim of a deceased group member, you need to fill out and send a registration form to the administrator of the settlement.

A copy of the registration form can be obtained by ringing Bottoms English Lawyers on the Stolen Wages Hotline – 07 4041 1641 – or by writing to Bottoms English Lawyers or visiting them at their office at 63 Mulgrave Road, Cairns, Queensland 4870.

A copy of the registration form can also be obtained from the Stolen Wages website: www.stolenwages.com.au.

The registration form must be sent to Bottoms English Lawyers by 4pm on 8 November 2019.

If you wish to opt out of the class action, you can obtain an opt out form from Bottoms English Lawyers whose contact details are given above.

Opting out is only for those new group members who did not previously have the opportunity to opt out in May 2018. If you choose to opt out you will not receive any compensation under the proposed settlement.

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