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Wednesday 5 April 2017

Community Legal Centres in NSW facing cuts to their federal government funding have been given a reprieve following today’s announcement of $6 million in additional support over the next two years from the NSW Government.

NSW Council of Social Service CEO Tracy Howe said reductions in Community Legal Centres’ funding from the Federal Government would have seen people experiencing poverty and disadvantage miss out on crucial legal assistance.

“Community Legal Centres are the heart of our community. They ensure everyone has access to justice, not just those who can afford it. 

“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. We’re so pleased the NSW Government has stepped up to the plate.”

Ms Howe said the funding announced today from the NSW Government was only a two-year, interim measure.

“The Federal Government cannot continue to ignore their responsibility to ensure everyone in our community has access to justice.

“We know that the benefits of having Community Legal Centres present in communities far outweighs the costs. These services are ones we should be investing in further rather than seeing reductions.

“We need to see the Federal Government commit to a long term funding solution that ensures continued resourcing for these legal services.”