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LAW AND JUSTICE—COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICES

Senator Wright, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 797—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that:

  (i) 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of community legal centres, which started with the establishment of the Fitzroy Legal Service in Melbourne, and

  (ii) there are over 200 community legal centres currently operating throughout Australia;

 (b) recognises that:

  (i) community legal centres, and the passionate and committed lawyers and advocates working for them, provide essential legal assistance services and advocacy to some of the most marginalised and disadvantaged members of our community, and

  (ii) community legal centres remain under-resourced and continue to struggle to meet the rising demand for affordable and effective access to justice; and

 (c) calls on the Government to conduct a comprehensive investigation of levels of demand and supply of legal assistance services, unmet need and gaps in service delivery, with a view to directing the improved use and funding of legal assistance services and consequently advancing access to justice.

Question put and passed.