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Improving access to Community Legal Centres in South Australia.



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NEWS RELEASE

 

ATTORNEY- GENERAL

THE HON. DARYL WILLIAMS AM QC MP

 

17 November 1998

485

 

 

IMPROVING ACCESS TO COMMUNITY LEGAL

CENTRES IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

 

 

I am pleased to release in conjunction with the South Australian Attorney-General, the Hon Trevor G riffin MLC, a blueprint for increasing the accessibility of community legal services to South Australians.

 

The report, titled A Fabric for the Future, Community Legal Centres in South Australia , is the work of an Implementation Advisory Group established following an independent review into South Australian community legal services by social research consultants Keys Young.

 

Keys Young identified that although a high standard of legal services is already being provided in South Australia, additional reform would enhance this service further.

 

The Advisory Group report identified ways of effectively implementing these key recommendations, with a particular focus on improving access to community legal services and ensuring more consistent and efficient service delivery.

 

The 11 member group comprised representatives from community legal centre management committees, the South Australian Council of Community Legal Centres, the Law Society, the Legal Services Commission, the South Australian Department of Family and Community Services, the South Australian Attorney-General’s Department and Treasury, as well as the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department.

 

The group consulted widely with stakeholders from the community legal sector, practitioners, service users and community representatives.

 

The resulting report signals a commitment to providing services to areas of greatest need. It proposes moving community legal services away from some existing locations and towards those growing areas in which users of its services live.

 

This is consistent with a comprehensive package of initiatives that I announced as part of the 1998/99 budget to enhance the delivery of community legal services to rural, regional and remote areas.

 

These initiatives included:

 

  • establishin g the Rural and Remote Legal Advice Telephone Service.

 

  • establishing six new community legal services to outreach into the more remote regions of Australia, including the Iron Triangle in South Australia.

 

  • upgrading office accommodation, equipment, library and legal research support services.

 

  • funding for clinical legal education.

 

The Coalition also announced recently, as part of its 1998 Law and Justice policy, funding for a further six new community legal services in rural and regional Australia.

 

The lo cations for these new community legal services have also been chosen on the basis of need, with reference to population, employment and existing access to legal and community legal services.

 

Under this project, South Australia will gain two of the new community legal services, one at Mt Gambier and the other in the Riverland.

 

Media contact :    Nicholas Harford    (02)   6277   7300

 

 

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