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Enhancing community legal services in Victoria.



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JOINT NEWS RELEASE

 

From the Offices of the Commonwealth & State Attorneys-General,

 

Daryl Williams & Jan Wade

 

 

January 21, 1999 

ENHANCING COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICES IN VICTORIA 

An Implementation Advisory Group will be established to look at improving access to community legal services in Victoria, Commonwealth Attorney-General, Daryl Williams, and State Attorney-General, Jan Wade, announced today.

The establishment of the Group is a recommendation in a report, Review of Victorian Community Legal Centre Funding Program , released today by the Attorneys-General. The report makes a number of constructive recommendations aimed at creating a more responsive framework for planning and delivering legal services to disadvantaged members of the community.

The Group will focus on formulating strategies to improve access to community legal centres by ensuring more consistent and efficient service delivery. The Committee will consult widely over a six-month period and develop a consultation agenda and timetable for reform.

The Group is expected to comprise 11 members involving Commonwealth and State representatives from both Attorneys' Departments, Victoria Legal Aid, the Federation of Community Legal Centres (Vic) Inc, and community legal centres.

The Committee will make recommendations to the Commonwealth and Victorian Attorneys-General:

  • ensuring an equitable distribution of resources
  • identifying core services people in need can access, and considering appropriate eligibility criteria for uses of those services
  • pr oposing measures to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery, such as strategies for maintaining and enhancing community and volunteer involvement and consideration of the viability of contracting out some administrative functions.

Enh ancing Community

Mr Williams said the work would supplement a comprehensive package of initiatives announced as part of the 1998/99 Commonwealth budget to enhance the delivery of community legal services to rural, regional and remote areas

Those initiatives included establishing six new community legal services for regional Australia, the locations of which were chosen on the basis of need, with reference to population, employment and existing access to legal and community services.

Under this project, Albury-Wodonga, the cross-border of Victoria and New South Wales, will gain a new community service.

 

 

 

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