The Palaszczuk Government has today announced a $2.1 million funding boost for vital Community Legal Centres in the Sunshine Coast and Caboolture region.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath has announced $51.3 million in State and Commonwealth funding for 36 community legal assistance services over the next three years, starting from July 1.
“In the Sunshine Coast region, a total of $2.1 million will be shared amongst three organisations to provide vital community legal services which help vulnerable people in the region access legal assistance,” Mrs D’Ath said.
This includes $1.255 million for Suncoast Community Legal Service and $463,436 for Centacare, which assists people in Maroochydore, and nearly $392,811 for Moreton Bay Regional Community Legal Service Inc, which assists people in the Caboolture area.
But the Attorney-General warned that despite Queensland boosting its contribution, there was still a funding shortfall because of the Turnbull Government’s decision to slash $2 million from Queensland’s services.
“The Palaszczuk Government is now covering 60% of the costs of providing these vital services,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“In its proposed cuts, the Turnbull Government has turned its back on our most vulnerable because the funding shortfall will mean thousands of people across Queensland will be turned away from Community Legal Centres.
“These centres need funding certainty to continue to do their valuable work.
“I call on the Turnbull Government to reverse the cuts that are proposed to come into effect on July 1.”
Mrs D’Ath said the Palaszczuk Government’s portion of the allocated funding to Community Legal Centres would increase every year over the next three years, but that would not stop the impacts these centres will feel from the Federal Government’s funding cliff.
“The Palaszczuk Government will continue its contribution in funding Community Legal Centres, because we understand how vital they are,” she said.
“However, we will see cuts to real funding occurring in this funding round due to the Commonwealth cuts.”
Mrs D’Ath said the Palaszczuk Government had worked in partnership with the sector’s peak body, Community Legal Centres Queensland, to develop an evidence-based approach to funding allocations.
Mrs D’Ath said she was pleased with the high quality of applications received and the value-for-money of the proposals set out in the applications.
“I thank Community Legal Centres Queensland for their invaluable support to applicants throughout the application process.”
Mrs D’Ath also expressed her gratitude to the legal assistance services sector, both funded and un-funded, acknowledging the dedication and hard work of those working in the sector.
“Thank you to all involved in the delivery of such valuable services to vulnerable Queenslanders.”
The Commonwealth funding allocated through this process is allocated to Queensland CLCs under the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services 2015-20.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath