Media Release - Labor's Boost for Hunter Community Legal Centre

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9 June 2016

A Shorten Labor Government will deliver Community Legal Centres across the country the funding they need to keep their doors open, after three years of devastating cuts by the Abbott-Turnbull Government.

Under a Shorten Labor Government, frontline legal services will receive around $43 million in funding over three years from 1 July 2017 so they can continue their vital work. This will include $300,000 over three years for the Hunter Community Legal Centre.

“The Hunter Community Legal Centre has warned that if Malcolm Turnbull’s 30 per cent cuts to funding go ahead, they will no longer be able to provide a full-time service and it will result in severely reduced work in the local court and Family Law Court, leaving many disadvantaged people underrepresented in court,” Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said.

“The Centre provides an incredibly valuable service in our community. Access to justice is a fundamental right of all Australians and it is vital that the Hunter Community Legal Centre receives the funding it requires to continue to deliver its services.”

“The dedicated team of solicitors at the Hunter Community Legal Centre help vulnerable people at times of great need, when they are unable to pay for legal help themselves. They assist over 2300 clients each year with diverse and often complex legal issues, focusing on family violence, tenancy, debt and family law disputes.”

“Labor’s commitment to deliver $300,000, will help provide much needed certainty for the Hunter Community Legal Centre and our community.”

Despite the importance of these frontline legal services Malcolm Turnbull has cut millions of dollars from Community Legal Centres, Legal Aid Commissions and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services.

160,000 people were turned away from Community Legal Centres last year alone and with Centres facing a 30 per cent funding cut on 1 July 2017, many have to to close their doors to clients. This is not right and Labor will address it.


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Authorised by Sharon Claydon MP, 427 Hunter Street Newcastle