Australia's National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC) has welcomed an additional $39 million in the Federal Budget for Community Legal Centres (CLCs), reversing the 30% cut to Commonwealth funding for community law centres that was due to take effect on 1 July 2017.
“Tonight we welcome the additional funding. It provides a critical lifeline for all those people who rely on the help of CLCs every day and for our centres and communities across Australia,” says NACLC Chief Executive Officer Nassim Arrage.
“The reversal will mean people across Australia will get access to the legal help they were going to be denied from 1 July if the funding cliff went ahead. We have worked hard over a long period of time to emphasise the vital services that CLCs provide and the devastating impact cuts would have had - today the Government has recognised this.
“We also welcome an additional $3.4 million for six new domestic violence units at CLCs and Legal Aid Commissions”.
Mr Arrage says the Federal Budget addresses the immediate funding crisis for most CLCs, but there is more work to do.
“There is more work to do in ensuring increased, secure and long-term funding for the legal assistance sector. There is more work to do with Government towards a fairer society where anyone can receive legal help when they need it, not just when they can afford it."