Demand for help is at an high, yet funds dry up
WHILE the Federal Coalition has pledged $30 million over three years for family violence law services, both the Opposition and lawyers say community legal centres are still out in the cold as they try to work out how to absorb a $34.83 million cut in funding.
Shadow attorney general Mark Dreyfus said if Labor won the July 2 election, regional CLCs would be in line for a $43 million boost.
"Community legal centres will fall off a cliff unless the government reverses its earlier cuts in full," Mr Dreyfus said.
"Many CLCs are struggling to keep their doors open."
In a media release, Attorney-General George Brandis said a portion of the $30 million would go to CLC domestic violence services.
"The $30 million funding is part of the $100 million in new funding over three years to implement the Third Action Plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children," they said.
However, Daniel Stubbs from the Association of Community Legal Centres said this did not cancel out the CLC funding cuts.
"It is difficult to understand why the government would provide CLCs with some share of $10 million per year as part of this funding, but during the same period cut CLCs by 30% nationally," he said.
"It is tantamount to paying for a new roof on a house but removing the foundations at the same time.
"It's totally inadequate amount for legal in the face of rising demand ."