Senator Bridget McKenzie, Senator for Victoria, today welcomed the further injection of funding by the Coalition Government to the legal assistance sector as part of the 2017-18 budget.
The Turnbull Government will provide a further $55.7 million over the next three years to community legal centres ($39 million) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services ($16.7 million).
“$1.73 billion is now going to Legal Aid Commissions, Community Legal Centres and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services over five years to 2020, which is more than ever before,” Senator McKenzie said.
Senator McKenzie said the additional funding to Community Legal Centres would be directed to frontline family law and family violence services and would particularly benefit programs like Women’s Legal Services LINK Virtual Network which services women dealing with domestic violence issues in rural and regional area.
“This is the latest in a series of commitments made by this Government to support the work of the legal assistance sector and women and children affected by family violence.”
“As the national conversation on domestic and family violence continues, more people are coming forward to seek a range of assistance measures and the Turnbull Government has listened and responded.”
Today’s 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.
The funding allocation will be finalised with the states and territories under the National Partnership Agreement.
In addition, the Government is providing $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.”
24 April 2017