Funds will be distributed to seven community legal centres in the region over four years
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has announced that flood-affected communities in New South Wales can now access free legal advice as a result of a $7m funding investment by the Commonwealth.
The investment primarily aims to aid ongoing relief and recovery efforts in NSW. The funding will support community legal services across NSW, providing people and communities with free, independent, and confidential legal support to help them navigate a range of issues. The legal aid will cover a broad range of areas, including insurance claims, housing and tenancy rights, employment problems, social security, credit and debt, domestic violence, destroyed documents, and parenting arrangements.
“These devastating floods have taken every material thing from those affected. The Commonwealth’s extra funding for Community Legal Centres means they’ll now have the legal assistance they need to help rebuild their lives,” Dreyfus said.
The funding will be distributed to seven Community Legal Centres (CLCs) in the region, with each receiving $250,000 per year over four years. The CLCs include Northern Rivers CLC, Shoalcoast CLC, Mid North Coast Legal Centre, Illawarra Legal Centre, Central Tablelands and Blue Mountains CLC, Welfare Rights Centre, and Tenants’ Union of NSW.
NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman said the funding would help CLCs support people through the ongoing flood recovery.
“In the challenging aftermath of a natural disaster free legal assistance is crucial, especially to people who are socially and economically disadvantaged,” Speakman commented.
The floods, which occurred earlier this year, wreaked havoc across NSW, causing significant damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure. The provision of free legal advice will be crucial in helping people navigate the legal challenges that arise as a result of natural disasters.
The Community Legal Centres NSW website provides further information about the services being provided by the CLCs, including how to access free legal advice and support.
“Every part of people’s lives is impacted by these natural disasters and we want to ensure that legal assistance is available to them at this critical time,” Dreyfus said.