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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 209


Mr GILES (Scullin) (16:00): Last week I had the pleasure and privilege to formally open the new office of Adviceline Injury Lawyers in Epping. In a very full room, I was joined by many former legal colleagues, a large number of community members, representatives of the Australian Education Union and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union as well as the captain of the Melbourne United basketball team, Mark Worthington, for a great and celebratory evening.

Epping and Melbourne's outer north, more generally, have not been well serviced by plaintiff law firms, and there is significant unmet demand for legal representation from the people of Melbourne's outer north. This demand comes from people who have been injured in workplace incidents, involved in transport accidents or are victims of medical negligence.

Access to justice for these people is an essential part of our democracy. Legal representation should not just be for those who can afford it nor locked away in central business districts. I am very pleased that this office will go some way to addressing this deficit of justice. It is already making a difference and it recognises how significant an experience it is to go and see a lawyer, particularly after the trauma of a serious accident.

I thank my friend and former colleague Andrea Tsalamandris for her generosity in inviting me to this event. I also pay tribute to Deidre Petrakis and the other lawyers and staff who work at this office, and of course Bridget McDowell who did a fantastic job in organising and running the event.

I know from my experience that the people at this firm and its new office will provide high-quality legal advice for the people in Melbourne's outer north in an environment that is welcoming and convenient and can improve access to justice in the Scullin electorate.