NEW DEAL: New money for legal assistance

South Australian legal assistance services will receive over $2 million per annum in additional core funding from July this year through a new partnership between the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments.

Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman said South Australia had signed on to the new National Legal Assistance Partnership, guaranteeing nearly $150 million in total to legal services across the State over the coming five years.

“This agreement covers supports for some of our most vulnerable citizens – victims of domestic violence, families in need of legal assistance, and communities which may not otherwise have access to quality, accessible legal advice,” Attorney-General Chapman said.

It provides approximately $95 million to our Legal Services Commission, $26 million to Community Legal Centres and $27 million to the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement over five years – and includes services to regional areas.

“Importantly it also goes to legal supports for family advocacy and domestic violence, as well as supporting health justice partnerships which see lawyers and health professionals working together.”

Ms Chapman said the new agreement would ensure services continued and – in some cases would be increased – over the next five years.

“This will ensure that some of our most vulnerable, and our most disadvantaged, will continue to receive the supports they need.”

In addition to general supports offered by the Community Legal Centres, the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement and the Legal Services Commission, the funding includes $7.207 million for CLCs to deliver family law and/or family violence services; $1.708 million for the LSC to provide Family Advocacy and Support Services; and $5.249 million for Domestic Violence Units and Health Justice Partnerships.

“I thank the Federal Attorney-General, along with my interstate counterparts in coming to this very important agreement, not just for South Australia, but for the entire country,” Ms Chapman said.