Six Queensland community legal centres (CLCs) are to share more than $4 million in funding to improve access to justice for society’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman this morning announced that $4.22 million in Federal Government funding had been earmarked for the CLCs.
Basic Rights Queensland – which provides advocacy and assistance on social security, disability discrimination and women’s work-related matters – is to receive almost half the allocated funds – $2.106 million.
Others to benefit – as part of the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan – are Cairns Community Legal Centre, Caxton Legal Centre, TASC National ($480,000 each), ADA Law ($450,000) and Encircle ($224,000).
Ms Fentiman said a portion of the funding allocated to Queensland by the Commonwealth Government had been made available to CLCs.
“Of the additional funding provided to Queensland, $4.22 million was set aside for eligible CLCs to apply through a tender process,” she said. “To be eligible, CLCs had to be state or federally-funded and deliver free legal assistance services to vulnerable or disadvantaged Queenslanders.”
Applications were evaluated across three service delivery categories – state-wide, regional and Greater Brisbane.
Ms Fentiman said people experiencing mental illness could face numerous barriers to accessing the justice system as a result of their condition.
“That’s why it’s so important that we assist CLCs to continue to provide support for individuals with legal issues,” she said.
“I commend the successful CLCs and their staff for the valuable and important work they do. This funding will help them continue to address the demand for these services.”