A boost to federal funding of grassroots legal aid services will have a positive impact on financially disadvantaged Victorians, Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls said last week.
Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland recently announced the federal Government would provide an extra $13 million to help fund legal assistance programs across Australia.
Victoria’s share of the funding is still being thrashed out along with the other states and territories as part of the National Partnership Agreement for Legal Assistance Services.
In a statement last week, Hulls indicated there were good signs funding for legal aid in Victoria would increase “significantly”, however, he said more needs to be done.
“It is the responsibility of all governments to ensure legal assistance services are adequately funded so that the justice system is accessible to the most disadvantaged,” he said.
In April, Victoria Legal Aid director Kristen Hilton said calls to their free legal information service had increased by 30 percent since the start of the global financial crisis.
Hilton said research showed spending by the federal Government on legal aid had decreased by 27 percent since funding cuts in 1996/97.