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Legal aid reversal welcome, but just the start

Media Release
Penny Wright 26 Mar 2015

Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright says the Government should not stop at reversing cuts to the legal assistance sector, but look at increasing funding in the upcoming budget.

"Legal assistance services were operating on a shoe-string budget before the Attorney-General's cuts," Senator Wright said.

"Today's policy reversal is extremely welcome, but this should only be the beginning. The Productivity Commission's recent report said $200 million more was required just to address urgent need."

Senator Wright also urged the government to scrap a clause in the funding agreements that prevent Federal funding being used for law reform advocacy.

"The advocacy bans need to go. When it comes to helping people in need, this whole saga has shown us that frontline work and advocacy cannot be separated," she said.

"The Productivity Commission says advocacy work is efficient, effective and solves systemic issues, actually reducing the demand on frontline services."

Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens spokesperson for women, said:

"We welcome that the government is abandoning some of its cruel cuts following the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into domestic violence.

"It must now reverse the other funding cuts it has made to services for women escaping domestic violence, including to crisis accommodation and rental affordability."


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