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New legal hotline available in regional, rural and remote Australia.



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6 September 2001

NEW LEGAL HOTLINE AVAILABLE IN REGIONAL, RURAL AND REMOTE AUSTRALIA

Today I will launch a new free legal telephone hotline service for people living in 14 designated areas of regional, rural and remote Australia.

From today the Regional Law Hotline will operate in regional, rural and remote areas surrounding Broken Hill, Mt Gambier, Spencer Gulf, the Kimberleys, Berri, Gippsland, Albury-Wodonga, Kalgoorlie, Albany as well as parts of the Northern Territory and Tasmania. By the end of the month additional services will also be up and running in Mt Isa, Roma and Nowra.

These areas have been selected because they will service outlying districts where accessing a community legal service has meant a long drive in a car. Now, information will be just a telephone call away.

By dialling the regional toll free hotline number, 1800 050 400, between 8am and 8pm in each time zone, callers will be transferred to the relevant service for legal information and assistance.

The Regional Law Hotline is the final part of the $6.1 million Australian Law Online initiative that already includes a comprehensive website and the national Family Law Hotline.

The Regional Law Hotline will use infrastructure already in place for the Family Law Hotline to provide an enhanced telephone hotline service for people living in designated rural and remote areas.

Hotline operators can provide information about the family law system and the

various options available. In addition, if a caller needs further more general information or legal advice, they can be connected directly to a legal professional.

Community legal services and legal aid commissions are helping to provide this regional service.

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