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Increased legal aid grants approved



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INCREASED LEGAL AID GRANTS APPROVED

The Attorney-General, Senator Peter Durack,

said today he had approved increased grants to the Nanawading Legal Service and to the Tenants Advice Service in Victoria. *

The Nunawading Legal Service would receive $4500 and the Tenants Advice Service $3500. Financial H

assistance to other bodies in Victoria including the Fitzroy Legal Service had already been approved.

Senator Durack said while he had received 1

representations on behalf of the Nunawading legal Service it was only very recently that he had received an application from the service for financial /

assistance.

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He had now approved the grant of $4500 which followed another grant of $4000 made by the Federal II Government to the Nunawading Legal Service earlier this year.

Senator Durack disputed claims that . the funding of the Australian Legal Aid Office had been reduced.

. "The fact is that expenditure on legal aid has increased from $12.5 million in 1975-1976 to $19.6 .

million in 1977-1978. This is in addition to the funds a.

provided for in Aboriginal Legal Aid," Senator Durack said. . «

He said the rate of referral of legal aid work to the private legal profession has been

maintained at $1 million a month until recently when it has been increased to $1.05 million a month.

"There has been no fall in the number of

legal aid cases being referred to the private legal profession by the Australian Legal Aid Office. This

assistance is administered by the Office in accordance with guidelines designed to ensure that people in.most need of legal aid receive it.

"I am at present examining the guidelines to see if they can be relaxed in any way," Senator Durack said.

Canberra 9 December 1977 83/77

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TRANSFER OF LAW FUNCTIONS

The Attorney-General, Senator Peter Durack, today announced a major step in the progress of the Northern Territory to responsibile self-government.

On 1 January 1978 the majority of legal

functions in the Northern Territory, formerly performed by the Attorney-General1s Department, will be transferred to the control of the Legislative Assembly.

Senator Durack said that the transfer of legal functions would be an important milestone in the action being taken by the Legislative Assembly and the Commonwealth to bring the Territory to self-government and has required a considerable degree of co-operation between officers of the two Public Services.