Friday, 18 April 2008

McLelland agrees $17m not enough for community legal services

The Federal Government says it acknowledges that a $17 million boost to community legal services announced today does not go far enough.

The funding is a one-off allocation of $10 million to community legal centres and $7 million to legal aid services.

Federal Attorney-General Robert McLelland says it only goes some way towards addressing the problem after decades of neglect.

"It's a question of doing what we can in the short-term to address what effectively has been a crisis," he said.

Liz O'Brien from the National Association Of Community Legal Centres says while the money is a significant contribution, they will be working with the Government to ensure it continues.

"We have estimated that we need probably twice this much money to bring us up to speed, but never the less it will be money that will be well spent."

She says she is pleased the Government has recognised the work of community legal services in giving those less fortunate access to justice.

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