Community Law Australia – Fund Equal Justice is a campaign driven by the crisis in access to affordable legal help for disadvantaged people, but, increasingly, also for people who might consider themselves “ordinary Australians.”
Did you know:
- Community Legal Centres provide essential free legal help to over 216,000 people each year
- There is significant and rising demand for legal assistance in Australia. For example, Community Legal Centres are forced to turn away over 160,000 people each year, largely due to a lack of resources which means people are not always getting the legal help they need and which can lead to further problems, and to the problems spiralling out of control
- The most common issues Community Legal Centres help people with include family violence and family law, tenancy, credit and debt, employment issues, consumer issues, wills, powers of attorney and guardianship and welfare rights
- In 2017, Federal Government funding to Community Legal Centres will be cut by 30% which will have a significant impact on the ability of people across Australia to get the legal help they need. Overall, Community Legal Centres are facing a Commonwealth funding cut of $34.83 million between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2020.
What is needed?
- Reversal of the national funding cuts to CLCs under the National Partnership Agreement (amounting to $34.83 million between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2020)
- Immediate injection of $120 million per year by the Federal Government into the legal assistance sector by, consistent with the recommendation made by the Productivity Commission in its 2014 Access to Justice Arrangements Report, including at a minimum $14.4 million per year to CLCs
- Commitment to developing a process for determining sustainable long-term funding contributions to the legal assistance sector; and
- Provision of additional funding to other legal assistance services, including Family Violence Prevention Legal Services, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and Legal Aid Commissions.