Representatives from Community Legal Centres (CLCs) in every state and territory gathered in Sydney yesterday and today for crisis talks in the face of the looming 30% cut to Commonwealth funding for CLCs from 1 July 2017.
As part of the talks the National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC) with State and Territory CLC Associations convened an action in Belmore Park yesterday to call for the reversal of the funding cuts.
Hundreds of local community lawyers posed with gags over their mouths to symbolise the silencing effect funding cuts will have on centres and their clients, and many were dressed as “Lady Justice”.
“Yesterday our Advisory Council stood alongside local CLC representatives and the community to call on the Government to reverse the 30% funding cut,” said NACLC CEO Nassim Arrage.
“These cuts will have a devastating impact on people across Australia. We already turn away over 160,000 people every year and these cuts will mean even more people will miss out on the legal help they need.
“The community support at the event yesterday builds on strong support shown by the Senate with two motions this week as well as support from the Law Council and Law Societies, Law Deans, pro bono firms, churches and other community organisations,” said Mr Arrage.
“This support reflects the vital importance of the work of CLCs in communities across Australia and the devastating impact cuts will have.
“The upcoming Federal Budget represents the last formal opportunity for the Federal Government to reverse the cuts and invest in the sector before 1 July. The time for the Federal Government to act is now,” Mr Arrage said.
Photo credit to Mark Riboldi (5 photos): https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1gg4tqzbdhter6q/AABec6UtyXJtvwEx4Tc0DVBua?dl=0
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Nassim Arrage: 0408 092 256
Amanda Alford: 0421 028 645