Free legal help expanded for Goulburn Valley locals in need

Media Opportunity

What: CLA Spokesperson Hugh de Kretser, Goulburn Valley CLC worker
When:10:30am–12pm, Friday 21 September 2012
Where: Uniting Care Cutting Edge Church Hall, 136 Maude St, Shepparton

Community Law Australia today welcomed the expansion of the Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre as a boost for regional access to legal help.

Campaign spokesperson Hugh de Kretser said that the Goulburn Valley CLC, which started out as a pilot, would now be able to expand services for Goulburn Valley locals.

“The two year funding commitment from Victoria Legal Aid, supported by the Victorian Government, gives the Goulburn Valley CLC a stronger foundation and doubles its pilot funding. This is a great boost for a centre servicing a wide area with a significant population. It means more services delivered in more accessible locations for Goulburn Valley locals who need legal help but can’t afford a lawyer.”

“The Goulburn Valley CLC helps people across four local government areas with a total population of 140,000 stretching from Broadford to Cobram and incorporating Shepparton, Seymour, Tatura, Kyabram, Euroa and Numurkah.

“The Goulburn Valley CLC has provided over 1,000 advice and ongoing services to locals since opening in 2009 and enjoys strong community support. This funding boost is an important step towards meeting the need for quality legal help in Goulburn Valley.

“We hope the centre can grow over time as the total funding is only around a third of the minimum recommended CLC funding. But CLCs are used to doing more with less so we know it will go a long way.

“CLCs help people with issues like family violence, debt, relationship breakdown, tenancy, fines and much more. Many regional areas do not have local CLC services meaning people miss out on the help they need. Access to legal help shouldn’t vary depending on your postcode. We need well-resourced CLCs for all regional Victorians. Today’s announcement is a positive move in the right direction.

“This is a great day for Goulburn Valley locals. They can take comfort that if a legal problem crops up, they can contact their local CLC for advice and assistance,” said Mr de Kretser.

Download this media release (PDF)