Record federal funding for legal assistance sector
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has welcomed the further injection of $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) as part of the 2017-18 budget.
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.
“$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,” Mr Turnbull said.
The additional funding to Community Legal Centres would be directed to frontline family law and family violence services.
“As the national conversation on domestic and family violence continues, more people are coming forward to seek a range of assistance measures and we have listened and responded.
“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,” Mr Turnbull said.
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.
Mr Turnbull said 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.