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Federal Government Cuts To Legal Assistance Will Hurt Vulnerable Australians

Media Release
Nick McKim 4 May 2016

The Government’s decision not to restore cuts to Legal Aid and Community Legal Centres (CLCs) in yesterday’s budget will continue to deny access to justice for some of the most vulnerable members of the community, Greens spokesperson for Justice Nick McKim says.

“Yet again, the Government has ignored those most in need to look after corporations and the very wealthy,” Senator McKim said.

“CLCs are facing a $34.8 million funding cut between 2017 and 2020, meaning tens of thousands of people in need of assistance will be turned away.”

“Those that will suffer include families in crisis, women escaping domestic violence and those seeking assistance on welfare rights, immigration and refugee applications.”

“The government has ignored its own Productivity Commission report which recommended significant increases in funding for Legal Aid and CLCs to help reduce pressure on a court system already under significant strain”

“The government’s failure to restore this funding is false economy as the burden will shift to other areas of the budget, such as health and human services.”

“The Greens would have delivered a better budget that invested in Legal Aid and CLCs, and provided fairer access to justice for more Australians.”

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