16.1 C
Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Community legal centres face closure after federal cutbacks

Latest News

Re Netflix

David Gilet, Byron Bay You would have to say that the Byron district has more than its fair share of wankers,...

Other News

What’s your opinion on the COVID vax?

Even though the Federal government refuses to take responsibility for the slow rollout of COIVID vaccines across the country you can still have your say on its rollout locally.

False impressions

Fast Buck$, Coorabell I was under the impression that, upon the mayor resigning, the deputy mayor would automatically get the...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Elvis has Left the Building

My dog died. I haven’t been able to write about it until now. It was a month ago, and he was old, but it was still unexpected, and it leaves you feeling a bit raw.

War The Bloody Hell Are You?

When faced with potential conflict, why are we abandoning the strategy that’s worked in the past for one that will definitely fail?

Doing it right

How do you know you’re doing hummus right? When the international visitors tell you it’s some of the best...

Dam doesn’t give a damn about koalas

The proposed Dunoon Dam is still a possibility, though it has been voted against twice by the members of Rous County Council. Now information has emerged which presents another reason to shut down the threat of the dam once and for all.

Animal Justice Party's Ballina candidate, Angela Pollard.
Crisis point: Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre manager, Angela Pollard.

Chris Dobney

Community legal services across the north coast will cease providing vital support services in July following savage budget cuts from the federal government.

Almost 40 other community legal centres across the state face the same fate unless the government reverses or radically reduces the severity of its cuts in the coming May budget.

The groups held a crisis meeting on Tuesday to thrash out plans to resist the cuts, which would see the state’s most vulnerable people left without any legal representation at often the most critical juncture in their lives.

‘The cuts at Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre (NRCLC) will see hundreds of people miss out on free legal advice. These people have already reached crisis point. Many of them are Aboriginal, have disabilities, and are women and children escaping domestic violence,’ said NRCLC manager Angela Pollard.

She said the NRCLC alone had been told it would lose $200,000 as a result of the cuts

‘This will force it to stop providing free legal advice in Casino and to patients in Tweed Hospital.

‘We will also lose a solicitor giving free legal advice in Ballina, Byron Bay, Lismore and Kyogle,’ she said.

Nassim Arrage, chairperson of Community Legal Centres NSW, said Tuesday’s meeting concluded that the only way to ensure that Community Legal Centres across New South Wales do not have to close their doors on July 1 is for the federal government to reverse their funding cuts.

‘If Community Legal Centres across New South Wales are forced to close from July 1, tens of thousands of disadvantaged Australians will miss out on receiving free legal advice,’ said Mr Arrage.

‘Community Legal Centres in New South Wales are already having to stop providing services and experienced lawyers are leaving the community legal sector,’ he added.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. While Tony Abbott swans around on government -funded jet planes sweet-talking mine owners at their birthday celebrations,thousands of Australians will be denied legal assistance, perhaps to pay for it … a wild allegation

    This is so appalling it begs a revolution! The loss of the wonderful Angela Pollard alone, to those locally who are in need of free legal advice from the Lismore Community Legal Centre is foully unjust Punish the impoverished and pander to the plutey, is the subtext of this throwback bunch in Canberra.

    Remember this on election day, along with the closure of women’s refuges and all the other punishments that will be handed out to the less-privileged,and vote Nationals last… Tony Abbott is Mile Baird’s friend!
    ‘Nuff said!

  2. Wonderful news! The Federal Government has reversed it’s decision to cut funding to Community Legal Centres and Aboriginal Legal Services. Sadly our EDOs are not spared from their massive cuts.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/the-pulse-live/politics-live-march-26-2015-20150326-1m7w6j.html

    A very big thank you to all those who rallied to the cause of demanding protection of such important social justice services provided to our community.

    Angela Pollard

    Manager
    Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Cartoon of the week – 12 May, 2021

Letters to the editor We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of...

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning May 12

Check out what's on going the Byron Shire and surrounding area this week

Father and son win first sailing race

Sixteen boats competed in the Tweed Valley Sailing Club’s race day earlier this month in a 10-12 knot breeze that suited the newcomers to...

Oceans 15 triumphant return


The Ocean Shores Aquatics team have returned home with some great results after a month-long stint at various State School Swimming competitions. ‘They have all...