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Ward family calls for fines to be put to good use - Media Release

Deaths in Custody Watch Committee (WA) Inc.

MEDIA RELEASE — For Immediate Release – 6 July 2011

Ward family calls for fines to be put to good use

On Wednesday 6 July, the WA State Government will appear before the Magistrates Court in Kalgoorlie to find out the penalty they face for their role in the death of Mr Ward. The State Government and G4S are both expected to face substantial fines

In anticipation of Wednesday’s decision, Ward birth-family spokesperson, Daisy Ward, has written to the Attorney General and Treasurer, Hon Christian Porter MLA, calling for any fines paid by the Government or G4S to be put towards the establishment of an Environmental Science Centre in Patjarr, rather than being put back into Government revenue.

In her letter to Mr Porter, Ms Ward wrote:

I believe that when the magistrate brings down his sentence, the penalty put on your government will come from consolidated revenue and then be paid back into consolidated revenue. This is both hurtful and painful to us. This pain does not go away from us. Where is the penalty? … Any penalty that the company, G4S has to pay will also go back to your government…. If the government is getting the money could you think about giving us the penalty monies because then it really is a penalty.

Ms Ward explains that “Our submission to the Attorney General is that all monies paid to the government by any of the guilty parties be paid into a body established to set up an Environmental Science Centre in memory of my cousin.  We believe that this will give our families and communities some justice for what happened as a living legacy in memory to his work will be established to provide benefit to the community. If all fines are paid to the government, this will not bring any justice for what happened to my cousin.”


Ms. Daisy Ward has requested a meeting with Mr Porter to discuss the proposal.
The Deaths in Custody Watch Committee (WA) has backed the family’s call. Spokesperson Marc Newhouse said “In 2008, Mr Ward’s community and all Australians lost an important cultural leader. This will never change, it is irreparable. However, the government has an opportunity to acknowledge this loss to the community in some way by giving something to benefit to the family and the community.”

Media Contact: Marc Newhouse (spokesperson), Deaths in Custody Watch Committee (WA), 0415 074 602.

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