Northern Rivers community legal service saved
A LAST-MINUTE reprieve has saved an important Tweed legal service, with the NSW Government set to pick up the slack after its funding had been cut.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said the NSW Government would provide more than $6 million in additional funding for NSW Community Legal Services, which helps disadvantaged people with legal problems, over the next two years.
"The end of a federal grant on 30 June may have led to staff cuts and reduced services at Northern Rivers Community Legal Service,” he said.
"The NSW Government has stepped in to ensure total statewide funding for CLCs does not fall in the next two years.”
The Northern Rivers CLC supports the Tweed community through outreach legal services at Tweed Heads and Pottsville as well as Murwillumbah.
The NSW Council of Social Service welcomed funding boost, saying "people experiencing poverty and disadvantage” would have missed out on important legal assistance.
"Many CLCs across the state faced staff cuts and service reductions following the federal government decision not to renew its grants program which ends on 30 June,” NCSS CEO Tracy Howe said. "We're so pleased the NSW Government has stepped up to the plate.”
CLCs provide free legal help to about 55,000 people each year at more than 30 locations in metropolitan, regional and rural NSW.
The NSW Government's funding injection is in addition to renewing in 2017-18 and 2018-19 the $6.4 million it has already committed to CLCs in 2016-17.