Community Legal Centres: Vital Frontline Services Under Threat

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus today visited two Community Legal Centres with local candidates Peta Murphy and Julian Hill to hear first-hand of their struggles to continue providing vital frontline services to domestic violence victims despite $24 million in cuts from the Abbott-Turnbull government.

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

PETA MURPHY

LABOR CANDIDATE FOR DUNKLEY

 

JULIAN HILL

LABOR CANDIDATE FOR BRUCE

 

COMMUNITY LEGAL CENTRES: VITAL FRONTLINE SERVICES UNDER THREAT

 

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus today visited two Community Legal Centres with local candidates Peta Murphy and Julian Hill to hear first-hand of their struggles to continue providing vital frontline services to domestic violence victims despite $24 million in cuts from the Abbott-Turnbull government.

 

Community Legal Centres (CLCs) provide access to justice to the most vulnerable members of our society, and are often the only port of call for those who cannot afford private lawyers.

 

These organisations also know first-hand the community impacts of misconduct in the financial services sector, with victims of shonky loans or life insurance scams among the many who come through their door.

 

In many cases, the devoted workers who run CLCs are operating on a shoestring with reduced numbers of staff.

 

On top of these cuts, CLCs are facing a further 30 per cent cut in their funding next financial year. It will put many of them in jeopardy.

 

In the wake of the ground-breaking Royal Commission into Domestic Violence recently completed by the Victorian state government, Labor calls on Mr Turnbull to deliver more than just words on domestic violence prevention, and give these centres the funding they need to continue to operate.

 

“Labor knows the worth of Community Legal Centres, which is why we delivered them a $34 million funding boost when in government. The stories I heard today at the Peninsula and Springvale Monash Community Legal Centres of reduced ability to operate have sadly been echoed at other CLCs I have visited around the country. I am proud to say that Labor will provide $43 million to the centres as part of our domestic violence package,” Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said.

 

“The Peninsula Community Legal Centre does absolutely incredible work for the local community and I want to see that continue. That’s why I will be fighting the disgraceful Abbott-Turnbull government funding cuts to make sure the most vulnerable members of our society can receive the legal help they need at times when they have nowhere else to turn,” Labor candidate for Dunkley Peta Murphy said.

 

“It was humbling to meet the hardworking staff at Springvale Monash Community Legal Centre today. They do such valuable work, and it is clear the local community know their worth. It’s just a crying shame that Mr Turnbull and his government don’t feel the same. I am proud that Labor would help to make up the shortfall in funding imposed by the Abbott-Turnbull government,” Labor candidate for Bruce Julian Hill said.

 

THURSDAY, 14 APRIL 2016