I welcome the Turnbull Government’s funding injection into legal assistance as part of the 2017-18 Budget.
The $55.7 million Federal Government funding boost includes $39 million over the next three years to community legal centres.
This additional funding to Community Legal Centres will be directed to frontline family law and family violence services such as the Peninsula Community Legal Centre and Youthlaw.
Legal Aid Commissions, Community Legal Centres and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services will now receive $1.73 billion over five years to 2020, which is more than ever before.
This is the latest in a series of commitments made by the Coalition Government to support the work of the legal assistance sector and women and children affected by family violence.
Domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty has been a tremendous advocate of our local community legal centres and the vital service they provide and I know she and many others will welcome this additional funding. I met with her recently about exactly this issue and I am pleased that we have been able to provide this outcome.
I am a strong supporter of the Peninsula Community Legal Centre and Youthlaw and appreciate the valuable work they do.
As the national conversation on domestic and family violence continues, more people are seeking a range of assistance and the Turnbull Government has listened and responded.
This funding announcement builds on the Turnbull Government’s existing additional investment of $45 million for frontline legal assistance and family law services as part of the $100 million Women’s Safety Package and $100 Million Third Action Plan.
There is also an additional $16.7 million over the next three years to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services.
The Government is committed to achieving real and positive change in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, including by providing culturally appropriate access to justice.