- Attorney General welcomes grant awarded to community legal centre peak body
- Centres around WA help those who cannot afford private legal representation
- The Community Legal Centres Association has received $513,810 for an IT boost
Attorney General John Quigley has announced a Lotterywest grant of more than $500,000 to the Community Legal Centres Association, which represents 28 community legal centres around Western Australia.
Community legal centres play a vital role in providing free and accessible legal assistance to disadvantaged and marginalised people in the Western Australian community, through individual assistance, community legal education and contributions made to law reform issues.
The new funding will allow the community legal centres to upgrade their IT networks to enhance the delivery of legal services throughout the State.
In April last year, the McGowan Labor Government also announced a separate top-up grant of $2 million from the Criminal Property Confiscation Grants fund to the community legal centres.
The funding was intended to keep the doors open at the centres, while the State Government and the community legal centres looked at ways to maximise the use of the funding.
It has since been decided the State Government will contribute a further $2 million in Criminal Property Confiscation Grants funding in 2019-20.
Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:
"The McGowan Government acknowledges the important work that community legal centres undertake in providing practical legal assistance for the most vulnerable in our community.
"The McGowan Government has already demonstrated its strong commitment to ensuring people in the community, particularly those facing disadvantage, have access to legal help.
"This will continue. Our strong record of funding community legal centres speaks for itself.
"While the State Government continues to work on developing a sustainable funding model for the community legal sector, this grant will assist the sector in enhancing its delivery of legal services throughout WA.
"The State Government remains concerned about the levels of Commonwealth funding going into the future in light of successive reports highlighting the rising demand for services and the need for additional funding.
"Where the Federal Government has reduced funding to community legal centres, the McGowan Government dipped into the Criminal Property Confiscation Grants fund to top up their funding.
"The decision by the Commonwealth to merge funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and community legal centres into a single funding stream should be immediately reversed.
"Access to justice for all Western Australians is a critical issue, particularly for those who are less fortunate or live in remote areas. It remains front and centre for the McGowan Labor Government."
Attorney General's office - 6552 6800