Today saw the launch of Legal Aid Matters – a national campaign.
Australian Governments must:
- Increase the Commonwealth’s share of legal aid commission funding to 50 per cent with the States and Territories. This would amount to an additional $126 million in the 2016 Commonwealth Budget.
- Immediately provide a further $120 million to cover civil legal assistance, with the States and Territories contributing $80 million, comprising a total of $200 million, as recommended by the Productivity Commission.
- Immediately reverse further Commonwealth funding cuts to legal assistance services announced in 2014, due to take effect from July 2017. These include:
- $12.1 million in cuts to community legal centres;
- $4 million in cuts to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services; and
- all cuts directed at policy and advocacy work conducted by legal assistance bodies, as recommended by the Productivity Commission.
For more information on Legal Aid Matters – A National Campaign please visit: http://legalaidmatters.org.au/.
LEGAL AID IN CRISIS AND JUSTICE IS BEING DENIED.
Most Australians assume if they get embroiled in a serious problem and can’t afford a lawyer, legal aid will be there to help. Today, they’re mostly wrong. Hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts by successive Federal Governments have pushed legal aid to the brink of collapse. Legal aid services are closing. More cuts are on the way.