Press release: Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus’ Bendigo visit welcome

On 4 April 2017 Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus will see first-hand the work undertaken by Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre lawyers with family violence victims at Bendigo Courts.

Mr Dreyfus’ visit comes as Loddon Campaspe CLC and its Shepparton counterpart Goulburn Valley CLC stare down federal funding cuts worth $121,000, due to come into effect on 1 July this year.

ARC Justice manages both services. ARC Justice EO, Hayley Mansfield, welcomed Mr Dreyfus’ visit:

‘It’s vital that Canberra understands the value of our work. Without seeing our work on the ground with clients such as family violence victims they cannot fully appreciate the impact these cuts will have on some of our most disadvantaged citizens.

In 2015/16, across our two services, we provided advice to 1204 people. Over the same period we handled 1422 cases.

However, from 1 July onwards, across the two services, we will provide approximately 120 fewer advices per year and approximately 240 fewer cases. That represents 10% less advices and 17% less cases. These are real people, more than 250 people we will have to turn away when they need us most.’

ARC Justice is calling for:

  • a reversal of the proposed funding cuts,
  • a funding boost in line with the Productivity Commission’s 2014 recommendation that community legal centres nationally receive an additional $14.4 million per year, and
  • the development of a sustainable model for future funding of community legal centres

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus will meet with ARC Justice and Loddon Campaspe CLC representatives at Bendigo Courts, Pall Mall, at 11am on Tuesday 4 April 2017. 

For media comment:

Hayley Mansfield, Executive Officer, ARC Justice 0431 438 217
Clare Sauro, Managing Lawyer, Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre 0403 904 705
Kaz Gurney, Managing Lawyer, Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre 0427 318 825

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