Queenslanders facing legal black hole

Published: Comments:
Australian Government Law & Safety Political Queensland Government

This is an archived copy of an article. It is online for informational purposes only.

The Palaszczuk Government is calling on the Turnbull Government to reverse its $2 million cuts to vital community legal services which help vulnerable people across Queensland seek justice.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the Federal Government’s cuts to Community Legal Centres would stop some Queenslanders being able to access free legal help.

“These funding cuts could force Community Legal Centres, such as the Caxton Legal Centre, to reduce its services, close branch offices and telephone advice lines, and sack staff,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“I urge the Federal Government to reverse the funding cuts and invest in community legal centres, including Caxton Legal Centre, to ensure residents get the legal help they need.”

Mrs D’Ath said the Caxton Legal Centre helped the community’s most vulnerable people who could not afford a lawyer and were not eligible for government legal aid.

“Caxton Legal Centre helps people with a wide range of legal problems, including family violence, relationship breakdowns and family law, debt, consumer problems, tenancy disputes, and employment issues,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“These people are among the most disadvantaged in our communities and we need to support them as much as possible and think about how much we can help them.

“The Palaszczuk Government recognises how important these centres are and it would be devastating if we were to lose this vital service.”

Under the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance, national funding for Community Legal Centres will be slashed from $42.2 million in 2016-17 to $30.1 million in 2017-18.

Queensland’s share will be cut by $2 million – from $8.9 million in 2015-16 to $6.9 million in 2017-18.

Community Legal Centres Queensland Director, James Farrell, said $2 million was a relatively small amount in the context of the Federal Budget but that this funding cut would mean thousands of people would miss out on legal help.

“Last year Queensland Community Legal Centres provided help to almost 60,000 people but tens of thousands more were locked out, because of chronic under funding,” Mr Farrell said.

“These federal funding cuts will just make it harder for Queenslanders to get legal help.”

Caxton Legal Centre Director, Scott McDougall, said their service harnessed the expertise of about 200 volunteer lawyers and daytime staff to deliver almost 10,000 legal advices every year.

“Timely and effective legal assistance can turn around a vulnerable person’s life,” he said.

“We are greatly concerned about the consequences of the looming funding cuts on our ability to help people in desperate need of family, domestic violence, child protection and employment law advice.”

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

Queensland Government, Department of Justice and Attorney-General :
State Law Building, 50 Ann Street, Brisbane Qld 4000, Queensland Wide
13 74 68
Queensland Government, Department of Justice and Attorney-General
Showing 7 recent articles for this business
Gambling survey re-established by Palaszczuk Government 30 April 2018 | The 2016-17 Queensland Household Gambling Survey has been released today, revealing more Queenslanders don’t gamble at all. More information...
“I Do” want to have a say on LGBTI Births, Deaths and Marriages 05 April 2018 | Individuals and organisations now have an extra two weeks to submit their views on how the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 2003 (Qld) can improve legal recognition of LGBTI people and their families... More information...
Queensland's First Indigenous Judge Appointed 22 March 2018 | He has been one of Queensland’s most senior practising Indigenous lawyers, identifying as Ghangulu on his father’s side, with connections to Bidjara on his mother’s side. More information...
Statement from the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice 14 February 2018 | Electoral Commission of Queensland Electoral Commissioner Walter van der Merwe has delivered his resignation to the Governor this morning, and provided a copy to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice... More information...
71 Wide Bay Burnett community groups to share in $1.7 million of funding 02 February 2018 | More than 600 community groups in Queensland, including 71 in the Wide Bay Burnett region, will benefit from $13.7 million worth of grants as part of Round 94 of the Gambling Community Benefit Fund. More information...
Statement from the Attorney-General re Heidi Strbak sentence 22 January 2018 | I know we have all been distressed by what happened to Tyrell Cobb. After Heidi Strbak received a nine year sentence for his manslaughter, I asked the Director of Public Prosecutions to review the case to see if... More information...
Saying yes to a valid Will 19 January 2018 | Queensland’s Public Trustee is educating same sex couples about the importance of updating their Will when getting married. More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service