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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 1

(Question No. 453)

Senator Macklin asked the Minister representing the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 21 August 1985:

(1) How much of the $260 000 allocated in the 1984/85 Budget for legal aid for Veterans has been expended and for what purposes.

(2) Has the review into the needs of servicemen, ex-servicemen and their dependants for legal assistance, which was announced on 17 August 1983, been completed; if so, will the Attorney-General give details of the review and advise what, if any, changes are to be made.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Attorney-General has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Funding of provision by the Victorian Legal Aid Commission of means-test free legal assistance was approved in some repatriation legislation matters where the applicants did not meet eligibility criteria for legal aid from that Commission. However, no claim for payment of those matters was received in the 1984/85 financial year. Accordingly, the allocated amount remained unspent.

(2) The review has been delayed pending consideration of the implications for legal aid generally of the recommendations of the Legal Aid Task Force. In addition, there are implications for this matter arising out of the proposed merger of the Australian Legal Aid Office and the Legal Aid Commission of New South Wales.

In the meantime the existing War Service Scheme will continue to operate.