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LAW AND JUSTICE—LEGAL SERVICES

Senator Wright, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 1097—That the Senate—

 (a) recognises:

  (i) research from early 2012 by the Australia Institute which revealed that approximately 500 000 Australians are missing out on essential legal services,

  (ii) the 2012 Australian Council of Social Service Community Sector Survey that highlighted how community legal centres are struggling to meet demand, waiting lists are increasing and approximately 14 per cent of people who sought assistance in 2010-11 were turned away, and

  (iii) recent research by the New South Wales Law and Justice Foundation which estimated that each year over 8 million people will experience a legal problem; and


 (b) calls on the Government to respond to the current crisis in the legal assistance sector, and promote improved access to justice, by addressing:

  (i) the high cost of legal services,

  (ii) increasing demand for legal assistance,

  (iii) changes to legal aid eligibility, and

  (iv) the impact of recent court fee increases on individuals and small businesses.

Statement by leave: The Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations (Senator Collins), by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.

Question put and passed.