Confirmation that the Federal Government has back flipped on their disastrous cuts to Community Legal Centres across the country is welcome relief for the Ballarat community and the Central Highlands Community Legal Centre.
Catherine King, local member for Ballarat, said that cutting funding from services helping vulnerable Australians in need of free legal services – including domestic violence victims – should have never been on the table.
“This is a huge win for everyone who has fought against these cuts, which would have seen Community Legal Centres like Central Highlands Community Legal Centre forced to turn away clients in need,” Ms King said.
“Community Legal Centres help hundreds of thousands of people around Australia in need of free legal assistance who do not qualify for legal aid. They are on the frontline in the battle against domestic violence and assist people with problems as diverse as Centrelink debt, civil disputes and employment issues.
“This funding should have never been in jeopardy – it is a victory for campaigners around Australia and an embarrassing back down from the Turnbull Government.”
Ms King said that the Central Highlands Community Legal Centre would have be forced to turn away 20 Ballarat residents every week if these cuts had taken place.
“It’s unbelievable that the Turnbull Government was willing to put the future of the Central Highlands Community Legal Centre at risk. Its dedicated staff have been helping our local community for over 20 years but they were plunged into uncertainty by an out-of-touch Government.
“I am incredibly relieved that the Government has dropped this unwarranted attack on Community Legal Centres around the country – it is beyond time, and I hope they now deliver stability and funding certainty so that services like the Central Highlands Community Legal Centre can get on with their valuable work.”
MONDAY, 24 APRIL 2017