Funding boost for Ballarat and Grampians Community Legal Service to aid coronavirus response

Ballarat and Grampians Community Legal Service is set to share in joint funding of almost $30 million from the Andrews Labor Government, and the Commonwealth, for community legal centres across the state to respond to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Ballarat and Grampians Community Legal Service will receive $321,500 to support its continued delivery of frontline legal assistance services during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison and Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle welcomed the funding, which will provide more members of the community with access to justice as they face the challenges arising from COVID-19.

Ballarat and Grampians Community Legal Service is responding to increased demand due to the impacts of COVID-19, providing vital support to Victorians with a range of issues including family violence related matters, employment rights and tenancy and housing matters.

The funding boost will also help Ballarat and Grampians Community Legal Service to upgrade technology so that more community members can access the help they need remotely and digitally while the COVID-19 restrictions remain ongoing.

The Victorian Government’s $17.5 million COVID-19 response is in addition to funding recently agreed with the Commonwealth under the National Legal Assistance Partnership 2020-25 Agreement.

The Agreement will see an additional $4 million in funding each year for the legal assistance sector in Victoria compared to the expiring National Partnership Agreement 2015-20.

Quote attributable to Attorney-General Jill Hennessy

Our community legal centres are on the frontline, helping Victorians who need support every single day – this funding will ensure they provide this support virtually, to more Victorians.”

Quote attributable to Member for Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison

“Ballarat and Grampians Community Legal Service does vital work supporting people in our community every day, this extra support recognises that work as well as the challenges of operating during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle

“With this funding boost our community can be assured that they will continue to have a place to turn for legal help when they need it.”

Quotes attributable to Lisa Buckland, Manager Ballarat & Grampians Community Legal Service

“BGCLS welcomes the news of $321,500 in additional funding to support provision of legal services to those in need within our communities.  COVID-19 has had a significant impact on a broad cross section of our community and impacted different individuals in our region in different ways. We anticipate to see an increase in clients that would not otherwise utilise our service for matters including family violence, employment and tenancy matters.”

“BGCLS expects that the impacts of this crisis will be felt long into the future. This additional funding will ensure that we have the resources to meet these changing needs of our community.”

“We acknowledge the support provided by our local members of parliament and their advocacy which led to this funding.”

 

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