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Abbott cuts to Indigenous legal services hypocritical

The Australian Greens have condemned Tony Abbott's cuts to the Indigenous Legal Assistance and Policy Reform Program, saying it goes against all his past rhetoric and will exacerbate the shameful incarceration rates for Indigenous Australians.

"Tony Abbott says he wants to prioritise efforts to end Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage, but cutting Indigenous legal aid funding undermines this commitment," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues.

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Greens to boost funds for indigenous legal services

The Australian Greens have unveiled an election commitment to double funding to indigenous family violence prevention programs and increase funding to indigenous legal services by 50 per cent.

A total of $182.1 million would be invested over the next three financial years to improving access to justice for indigenous Australians, through organisations including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services.

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Greens scheme to make legal help easier for all Australians

Penny Wright 16 Aug 2013

An Australian Greens promise to inject a further $842.6 million into legal assistance services will help ordinary Australians resolve workplace issues, consumer battles and property disputes, says spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright.

The Greens have committed to doubling funding for community legal centres and increasing Federal contributions to legal aid by 50 per cent to end the long-term under-resourcing of legal assistance services.

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Access to Justice – Creating a justice safety net

Penny Wright 15 Aug 2013

Each year, half of all Australians over 15 years of age will face a legal issue, but approximately 500,000 will miss out on essential legal services. Increasingly, this is affecting middle-income Australians as well as the most disadvantaged.

Access to justice means Australians can resolve their legal problems and achieve fair results - based on the merits of their case – not the size of their wallet.

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Old parties to pocket justice dollars for budget boost

Penny Wright 18 Jun 2013

A Coalition backflip on higher Federal Court fees will greatly restrict access to justice, says Australian spokesperson for Legal Affairs Senator Penny Wright.

In a Senate Inquiry report handed down late last night into filing fee increases of up to 400 per cent, the Coalition reversed its position on the use of revenue generated by the hike.

"My inquiry heard Labor's court fee increases since 2010 were not based on a good or clear rationale and would deter genuine cases and create further inequality in Australia," Senator Wright said.

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Budget 2013: Education, Legal Affairs, Mental Health and Veterans Affairs portfolio breakdown

The 2013 Labor Budget will do little to ease the stress on Australians. Senator Penny Wright talks about what was in the budget and what more could be done in each of her portfolio areas.


What's in the budget:

  • $9.8 billion in new school funding
  • $3 billion in next the next four years, $6 billion to come in the following two years

What I think:

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Hicks appeal deserves Federal support

Penny Wright 2 May 2013

The Australian Greens today called on the Federal Government to support David Hicks's appeal against his US conviction.

Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs, Senator Penny Wright, said a US Court of Appeals ruling last year showed the original conviction was invalid.

"David Hicks has never had a fair trial in a properly constituted court," Senator Wright said.

"We now know the charge itself was invalid and many in the legal profession believe the coercion and desperation he was experiencing when he made his plea is further grounds for appeal.

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Court fee hikes hit hardest those in greatest need

Penny Wright 2 Apr 2013

Disadvantaged Australians are being hit hardest by Family Court fee rises, according to submissions made to a Senate Inquiry chaired by Australian Greens spokesperson on legal affairs, Senator Penny Wright.

Fee increases of more than 300 per cent for divorce applications could have significant impacts on victims of domestic violence, the Inquiry has been told.

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