$9 million support for community legal centres

The Victorian Government has provided funds in today’s State Budget to ensure people in rural and regional Victoria and people needing advice on family violence matters will continue to have access to help from Community Legal Centres.

Attorney-General Robert Clark said funding of more than $9 million provided in the budget will enable Community Legal Centres to continue to provide legal advice and services to Victorians, with a focus on family violence assistance and maintaining services in rural and regional Victoria.

“Victoria’s network of Community Legal Centres plays a vital role in our justice system, providing members of the public with advice, representation in court, and other legal assistance,” Mr Clark said.

“The previous government’s funding to support CLCs in their important work was set to end in June this year. However, the funding provided in today’s budget means this work will be able to continue.”

Community Legal Centres are independent, community-based organisations that provide free legal advice and other services in their local areas.

Mr Clark said the more than $2.2 million to be provided annually would assist Community Legal Centres provide help to a wide range of Victorians, particularly those who would otherwise have difficulty accessing legal assistance.

“This funding will enable services to continue in rural and regional Victoria that would otherwise have been left without funding after 30 June this year, and will also allow CLCs to continue to provide victims of family violence with representation and assistance when intervention order applications are being heard in court,” he said.

“Not only does this help individual Victorians who find themselves before the court, it means that if fewer people are without legal representation, cases can proceed more quickly and waiting lists and delays across the court system can be reduced.”