Labor welcomes government backflip on legal centre funding

Today, after months of lobbying, Labor Members for Greater Dandenong Mark Dreyfus, Clare O’Neil and Julian Hill welcomed the good news that the Springvale Monash Legal Service has been saved from devastating cuts planned by the government for July 1 this year.

The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP

Shadow Attorney General
Shadow Minister for National Security
Federal Member for Isaacs

Clare O’Neil MP

Shadow Minister for Justice
Federal Member for Hotham

 

Julian Hill MP

Federal Member for Bruce

 

LABOR WELCOMES GOVERNMENT BACKFLIP ON LEGAL CENTRE FUNDING

 

Today, after months of lobbying, Labor Members for Greater Dandenong Mark Dreyfus, Clare O’Neil and Julian Hill welcomed the good news that the Springvale Monash Legal Service has been saved from devastating cuts planned by the government for July 1 this year.

 

The Coalition and George Brandis had been planning to cut Springvale Monash Legal Service’s funding by 30 per cent, which would have hit the Greater Dandenong community incredibly hard, resulting in the loss of free legal advice for some of our most vulnerable local residents.

 

As a result of hard lobbying by Labor, representatives from the sector, and prominent Australians like Rosie Batty, the government reversed its decision to cut funding in the upcoming federal budget.

 

“Finally, after three years of campaigning, the Turnbull Government has admitted its mistake and reversed this funding cut to community legal centres,” Mr Dreyfus said.

 

“Legal Centres are vital to the Greater Dandenong community, and I am pleased the Government has finally changed its mind, listened to Labor and reversed these cuts to our community,” Ms O’Neil said.

 

“While the back-down is welcome, the arrogant way the Attorney-General has tortured community legal services for years is truly appalling. People have been preparing to lose their jobs and cut services. An incredible amount of time has been wasted in a lobbying campaign that would better have been devoted to supporting domestic violence victims and other vulnerable clients,” Mr Hill said.

 

While today’s funding announcement is welcome, there is still a high degree of uncertainty about how the funding will be allocated. Labor will continue to work to ensure that Springvale Monash Legal Service gets its fair share of funding and can continue to offer its vital services to local residents.

 

MONDAY 24 APRIL 2017