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Labor to restore cuts to Community Legal Centre

Labor candidate for Page Janelle Saffin and Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in Casino.
Labor candidate for Page Janelle Saffin and Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in Casino. Hamish Broome

FUNDING for the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre has been announced by Janelle Saffin, the Labor candidate for Page.

Ms Saffin said the Shorten Labor Government will provide $300,000 over three years to ensure the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre has the funds to continue helping people in need.

"Access to legal assistance when you need help is as important as access to Medicare when you're sick. That's why Community Legal Centres are such an important local service," Ms Saffin said.

"The Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre helps local people deal with a wide range of legal issues, from tenants' rights, to domestic violence and family law disputes.

"Labor will ensure that CLCs can continue their vital work helping people to navigate there way through our complex legal system."

Ken Beilby, the Principal Solicitor for the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre in Lismore said the funding will mean they do not have to shut offices in the Richmond Valley in Casino and the Tweed Valley office in Murwillumbah.

"It's going to help us maintain front line services to disadvantaged clients in our region," Mr Beilby said.

"One of the main priorities of our centre is women experiencing domestic violence and providing early intervention.

"Our ability to continue assisting vulnerable clients will be greatly diminished without those funding cuts being restored."

The current federal budget would see a cut of 30% to community legal centres, but Labor has pledged to inject a total of $43 million into the sector over three years from July 1 2017.

"Labor will ensure the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre can keep its doors open and go on providing vital services to the people of the North Coast and Northern Rivers."

Topics:  community legal centre election 2016 election campaign funding janelle saffin labor page



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