Funding for legal assistance partnership through the National Broadband Network

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC today announced that Legal Aid WA will receive $214,000 in funding to provide legal assistance services and professional training to regional Western Australia through the National Broadband Network.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC today announced that Legal Aid WA will receive $214,000 in funding to provide legal assistance services and professional training to regional Western Australia through the National Broadband Network.

The project will be funded through the National Broadband Network Regional Legal Assistance Program.

“Increasing the availability of legal assistance services to residents of regional and remote areas is critical to providing access to justice for all Australians,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“Through this program, providers can develop innovative ways of using the National Broadband Network to enable residents of regional and remote areas access to legal assistance.”

“This project will harness the benefits of National Broadband Network through a fibre connection in Geraldton to expand Legal Aid WA’s services and increase cooperation between regional and metropolitan legal professionals.”

Funding for Legal Aid WA’s project is part of the Gillard Government’s $4 million commitment made in the 2011-12 Budget, to improve access to legal assistance services through the National Broadband Network for people living in regional Australia.

A total of $1.1 million was available through this funding round.

In addition to providing legal advice via video-conferencing, the project will also deliver online training for lawyers and other professional staff and a community legal information website.

The project is in partnership with the Geraldton Resource Centre, a not-for-profit community organisation providing financial, legal and tenancy services to people experiencing hardship.

Other successful applicants will be announced in the coming weeks.

More information about the National Broadband Network Regional Legal Assistance Program can be found at http://www.ag.gov.au/nbnlegalassistance.