Coast’s community lawyers hopeful about $39m decision

Coast’s community lawyers hopeful about $39m decision

Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth has welcomed the news that the Federal Government will abandon planned funding cuts to community legal centres, noting that the decision means that society’s most vulnerable people will continue to be able to access justice.

“Community legal centres in Queensland are already forced to turn away 160,000 people a year – that’s more than the MCG crowd at the Boxing Day test,” she said.

“Had these funding cuts been maintained, tens of thousands of people would have been effectively unable to access their basic legal rights.”

Ms Smyth said the Queensland Law Society had been relentless in its lobbying for a reversal of the cuts, and she was glad that the government was listening.

“The fact that the government took on board the society’s submissions and changed its mind is pleasing, although it is regrettable that the cuts were proposed in the first place.

“We are all aware that current economic conditions require some austerity measures, but you can’t tighten your belt if you don’t have one; a country like Australia should always be able to protect its most vulnerable people.”

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