Legal Aid Queensland has welcomed a much needed injection of state government funding, which will increase access to justice for financially disadvantaged Queenslanders.
Legal Aid Queensland acting CEO Paul Davey said the Queensland Government’s commitment to provide additional funding of $32.4M over 4 years would boost Legal Aid Queensland’s funding to a level that is equal to the national average per capita, and ongoing funding of $13M a year from 2020–21 would sustain expected increases in demand.
“In 2016–17, Legal Aid Queensland funding will increase by $3.23M, which will be used to expand our domestic and family violence and child protection legal services,” Mr Davey said.
“This much needed new funding for Legal Aid Queensland will boost our frontline services, ensuring the most vulnerable members of society have access to the legal information, advice and representation they need to resolve their legal problems.”
The additional funding for this financial year will be used for:
- continuing the Domestic and Family Violence Duty Lawyer Service in 14 locations across the state; the service operates in Southport, Beenleigh, Richlands, Brisbane, Caboolture, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Maroochydore, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Mackay, Mount Isa, Townsville and Cairns
- expanding the Domestic and Family Violence Duty Lawyer Service model to include full representation of clients in 6 locations which are yet to be determined
- representation for clients who have breached domestic violence orders
- expanding child protection legal services.
“The increased funding will ensure Legal Aid Queensland is on a stable footing to continue delivering sustainable frontline legal services to financial disadvantaged Queenslanders.
“We thank the state government, and particularly the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath, for ensuring Legal Aid Queensland has certainty about its budget in the coming years, and that we continue to contribute to strengthening Queensland’s justice system.”