Criminal Cash to Fund WA Community Legal Services

The State government through a funding rescue package to ensure community legal centres (CLC) keep their doors open.

Funds will be drawn from the Criminal Property Confiscations Grants fund for a rescue package to provide important legal services across the state.

“Access to justice for all citizens is a critical issue, particularly for those who are less fortunate, live in remote areas or are not eligible for Legal Aid,” Attorney General John Quigley said.

“Funding for community legal centres from a range of State and Federal sources has fallen in recent years but demand has continued to rise, leaving many centres facing uncertainty or imminent closure.”

“The McGowan Government is committed to developing a sustainable funding path for community legal centres.”

$2 million have been approved for the funding rescue package, with $1.35 million ensuring no centre receives less funding than previously.

The remainder will be distributed following discussions between the Department of Justice, the Community Legal Centres Association and Legal Aid on the best way to deliver CLC services in the future.

“Our community legal centres need certainty in their funding to allow them to effectively plan and run their services, now and into the future,” Mr Quigley said.

“As part of this commitment, we will review the operation of community legal centres, in partnership with the centres, to determine if the services can be delivered more effectively.”

“This could include partnering with law firms which offer pro bono programs, or co-locating centres located close to each other.”

Mr Quigley said it was “particularly fitting” money and assets seized from criminals would be used to benefit the community, including “victims of crime”.

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