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Legal aid

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ATTORNEY- GENERAL AND M IN IS T E R F O R JU S T IC E The H o n. D aryl W illiams am qc mp

25 February 1997 225


I w elcom e com m ents by W est A ustralian A ttorney-G eneral Peter Foss QC, that the people o f his State w ould be best served by a continuation o f a cooperative approach to legal aid delivery.

H e w ill not achieve this by shallow public posturing. -

I urge M r Foss to m ake available data from his S tate’s L egal A id C om m ission so that negotiations aim ed at securing effective delivery o f legal aid in W estern A ustralia m ay continue.

O ther ju risdictions have provided relevant data to enable constructive dialogue.

D ata m ade available to the C om m onw ealth suggests W estern A ustralia used m illions o f dollars o f C om m onw ealth m oney to subsidise its ow n State m atters in 1995-96.

T he State G overnm ent has challenged this, but not been forthcom ing with any evidence to support its assertions. „

It w ould be in no b o d y ’s interests if W estern A ustralia w ithdrew from its longstanding arrangem ent w ith the C om m onw ealth for the cooperative delivery o f legal aid services.

M r Foss should act in the interests of legal aid clients and negotiate arrangem ents under w hich the best value is achieved from legal aid funds.

Media contacts: M egan B onny (A ttorney-G eneral’s office) (0 6 )2 7 7 7300 Jack W oodforde (A ttorney-G eneral’s D ept.) (06) 250 6512