Media Release: Strong legal profession support for Community Legal Centres in face of funding cliff

The National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC) has welcomed the open letter from the heads of all state and territory law societies published today calling for the reversal of the funding cliff facing Community Legal Centres (CLCs) and funding for the legal assistance sector.

The open letter was signed by all state and territory law societies, representing over 60,000 solicitors across Australia, and published in The Australian today. The letter echoes the concern expressed by leaders of pro bono practices at major Australian law firms about the funding of Community Legal Centres in another open letter published in The Australian in June this year.

“We welcome the support shown by the private legal profession across Australia for the vital work that Community Legal Centres and the legal assistance sector do, and the reversal of the 30% funding cliff facing CLCs from 1 July next year” said Dan Stubbs, NACLC National Spokesperson.

“Community Legal Centres and the other legal assistance providers help hundreds of thousands of people across Australia every year. The underfunding of these services and the funding cliff will have a significant impact on the ability of people to get the legal help they need” he added.

“Many CLCs work closely with law firms and individual lawyers to provide services to vulnerable and disadvantaged clients. It is heartening to see the Law Council of Australia, Australian Bar Association, all state and territory law societies and pro bono firms all come out in support of CLCs and the sector recently” he said.

“When there is this level of concern about the funding cliff across the profession, it sends a strong message that the funding crisis facing CLCs will have a huge impact on our clients, but also on the broader legal profession and justice system, given our important preventative and early intervention work” he said.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Attorney-General and the legal assistance sector, with the support of the profession, to address the funding cliff and discuss the ongoing work and sustainability of the legal assistance sector” concluded Mr Stubbs.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Daniel Stubbs, NACLC National Spokesperson, 0437 253 543
Amanda Alford, NACLC Director Policy and Advocacy, 0421 028 645