Attorney -General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath has announced $51.3 million in State and Commonwealth funding for Queensland’s vital community legal centres. Thirty-six community services have been successful in securing funding for the next three years, starting from July 1.
But the Attorney-General warned that despite Queensland boosting its contribution, there was still a funding shortfall because of the Turnbull Government’s decision to slash $2 million from Queensland’s services.
“The Palaszczuk Government is now covering 60% of the costs of providing these vital services,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“In its proposed cuts, the Turnbull Government has turned its back on our most vulnerable because the funding shortfall will mean thousands of people across Queensland will be turned away from Community Legal Centres. “These centres need funding certainty to continue to do their valuable work.
“I call on the Turnbull Government to reverse the cuts that are proposed to come into effect on July 1.”
Mrs D’Ath said the Palaszczuk Government’s portion of the allocated funding to Community Legal Centres would increase every year over the next three years, but that would not stop the impacts these centres will feel from the Federal Government’s funding cliff.
“The Women’s Legal Service will receive an extra $100,000 from the Palaszczuk Government to run its Help Line, in addition to receiving $3.6 million over the next three years.
“The two Queensland Environmental Defenders Offices, which had all their funding stripped by the LNP Government, will receive $600,000. The Gold Coast Community Legal Centre and Advice Bureau receives an extra $105,000 a year, taking their funding up to $2.5 million and the North Queensland Women’s Legal Service receives $2.4 million for its vital services in Townsville and Cairns.”
The Caxton Legal Centre has also been allocated $4.8 million over the next three years to continue delivering services, including assisting those involved in Domestic and Family Violence matters. The government says it worked in partnership with the sector’s peak body, Community Legal Centres Queensland, to develop an evidence-based approach to funding allocations.