Guide to Giving
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  General, Research

Community Legal Centres Turn Away 150,000


Tuesday, 16th June 2015 at 11:41 am
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist
Under continuing funding stress, over 150,000 Australians are turned away from Community Legal Centres each year, according to new figures.

Tuesday, 16th June 2015
at 11:41 am
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Community Legal Centres Turn Away 150,000
Tuesday, 16th June 2015 at 11:41 am

Under continuing funding stress, over 150,000 Australians are turned away from Community Legal Centres each year, according to new figures.

The National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC) has released its latest National Census Report which reveals the capacity, priorities and trends in the work of Community Legal Centres (CLCs) across Australia.

CLCs are described as the last port of call for people who can’t afford to pay for a private lawyer. Community Legal Centres are independently operating, Not for Profit community organisations that provide free legal and related services to the public, focussing on the disadvantaged and people with special needs.

“The Census shows that over 150,000 of Australia’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable people had to be turned away by CLCs in the previous financial year 2013-2014,” NACLC Chair, Michael Smith said.

“However, the total figure for turnaways is actually much higher than this, as only about 75 per cent of our member centres were able to provide details of their turnaways. It is extremely concerning that so many people who can’t otherwise access the legal system are being turned away.

“The most concerning issue was that two-thirds of centres responding, reported turning clients away due to insufficient resources. Given that CLC’s are often the last resort, options for these clients are very limited,” Smith said.

24 centres (30 per cent of respondents) reported turning away over 1,000 people in the year.

“These are not just statistics, but real people, often highly vulnerable, who cannot receive the help they need. It’s also very difficult for staff and volunteers to have to keep telling people we can’t assist them,” Smith said.

“The Census showed that 13.3 per cent of CLC clients, identified as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, and 25.4% identified as a person with disability.

“Given the high level of turnaways, it is vital that all legal assistance providers, including CLCs receive an immediate cash injection of $200 million per year by all levels of government, as recommended by the Productivity Commission.”

The latest Abbott Government Budget delivered in May 2015 revealed Commonwealth funding would drop drastically for CLCs from 2017-18.


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

Guide to Giving

FEATURED SUPPLIERS


NGO Recruitment is Australia’s not-for-profit sector recru...

NGO Recruitment

Brennan IT helps not-for-profit (NFP) organisations drive gr...

Brennan IT

HLB Mann Judd is a specialist Accounting and Advisory firm t...

HLB Mann Judd

Yes we’re lawyers, but we do a lot more....

Moores

More Suppliers

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

NFPs Driving WA Economy, Report Says

Wendy Williams

Wednesday, 15th February 2017 at 4:20 pm

Study into the Effect of the NDIS on Carers

Lina Caneva

Wednesday, 25th January 2017 at 9:26 am

Survey Reveals Australian Attitudes to Torture in Conflict

Lina Caneva

Tuesday, 6th December 2016 at 3:05 pm

Indigenous Advocate Named 2016 Telstra Business Woman of the Year

Lina Caneva

Tuesday, 22nd November 2016 at 12:30 pm

POPULAR

Moves to Stop Volunteering at Overseas Orphanages

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 13th September 2017 at 1:54 pm

Future Uncertain for Disability Organisations Following Funding Cuts

Wendy Williams

Tuesday, 19th September 2017 at 8:29 am

Majority of NFPs Are Not Believed to be Well-Run, According to New Survey

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 12th September 2017 at 4:14 pm

More Australians Are Giving Time Not Money

Wendy Williams

Monday, 11th September 2017 at 5:07 pm

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Guide to Giving
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!