Record investment in community legal centers

Those in need will have better access to free legal support thanks to an investment of more than $ 83 million in the community legal sector over the next three years.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said joint state and federal funding will help ensure the long-term stability of these vital legal services.

“Community legal centers play a crucial role in providing access to justice for disadvantaged people. This investment will give the sector the financial security it needs to continue helping people in difficulty receive essential legal services, ”said Mr. Perrottet.

“Eligible centers in all parts of NSW can also apply for funding to support more clients. This includes investing in regional areas where we know there are additional needs. “

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the funding model would bring certainty to the sector and target unmet needs statewide.

“This will enable more women and children to escape domestic and family violence (DFV), support those facing financial insecurity and help thousands of vulnerable people in our communities to obtain free legal assistance during their period of need, ”Mr. Speakman said.

“Centers will be able to apply for targeted funding, which will be prioritized based on where the demand is. Not only will this ensure better access to legal support for communities, but it will also help deliver new services where we know there are gaps. “

$ 64.7 million will be allocated to allow community legal centers to continue providing basic services. Eligible centers will also have the opportunity to apply for $ 18.6 million intended for areas most in need, including rural and remote communities and DFV services.

New South Wales Community Legal Centers Executive Director Tim Leach welcomed the funding.

“COVID-19 has presented significant challenges for the community legal sector. Our centers have adapted to continue to do their vital work, ”said Leach.

“This investment will provide essential funding security for our members so they can stay focused on helping vulnerable clients facing disadvantage and discrimination.”

Applications for targeted funding will open in early November. Legal Aid NSW manages the funding which will run from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2025.

Download the press release: Record investment in community legal centers PDF, 107.13 KB

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Bernice Dyer

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