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Perth _ Law Perth _ New Community Legal Centre

Posted by: Ben Jul 22 2007, 09:01 PM

Western Australian Premier Alan Carpenter today announced $960,000 for a new community legal centre in Joondalup, to deliver legal services to people in the northern suburbs.

Mr Carpenter said the new centre would give up to 1,500 local people access to legal assistance, education, and information each year.

“Community legal centres assist ordinary people to understand the legal system and resolve their legal problems by providing a range of low cost services, including information, advice, casework, representation, community legal education, law reform and public interest advocacy,” he said.

“This new centre will enable individuals and families who cannot afford to pay a private lawyer to obtain advice, negotiation assistance and where necessary, pursue their rights before the law.

“Last year community legal centres throughout the State assisted more than 17,000 people with a range of issues in family, civil, and criminal law.

“The centres provided 12,000 information services, nearly 50,000 legal advice services, and approximately 4,000 new actions for clients.”

The Premier said community legal centres had a long and proud history in Western Australia, with the first centres opening their doors in the 1970s.

“A welfare service was established at Sussex Street Community Legal Service in Victoria Park in 1978, which then developed into a legal service in 1982. A specialist legal service for tenants, the Tenants Advice Service of WA, commenced in 1979,” he said.

The State Government provides funding to 22 legal centres throughout WA, providing a broad range of services to their communities. The funding announced today would pay to establish the centre and its first three years of operation.

Submissions to provide the service will be called for in July with the successful provider to be announced in September. It is hoped that the service will be operational by Christmas 2007.

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