Govt tops up community law centre funding

  • Simon Power
Justice Budget 2011

The Government will top up funding for community law centres to ensure they continue to provide access to justice for vulnerable people, Justice Minister Simon Power says.

Budget 2011 provides an extra $4 million in 2011/12 for community law centres.

That takes the total additional funding for community law centres to $17 million over the National-led Government’s first term in office.

“The Government recognises that the centres’ main source of funding from interest earned on money held in solicitors' trust accounts on behalf of clients has been dramatically reduced in recent years, as a result of the slow housing market and lower interest rates,” Mr Power says.

“This Budget funding gives community law centres certainty about their future while their traditional funding source recovers.

“It also shows the Government’s commitment to ensuring the long-term viability of community law centres.

“But as I have said before, centres also need to work on securing additional funding from outside Government, such as brokering pro bono arrangements with law firms.”

In 2009/10, community law centres helped more than 220,000 people.