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Legal Assistance Welcome, Policy Re-think Needed

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Tags: Justice, Community Legal Centres, Crime

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Justice spokesperson 

The announcement that funding will be made available for Legal Aid in tomorrow’s State Budget is welcome.

The Greens have been calling for more support for the Legal Aid Commission since funds were cut two years ago.

Given their policies are placing a massive, increased burden on the legal assistance service, we are pleased the Liberals have finally acted. Unfortunately, this funding is a drop in the ocean required to resolve the issued caused by their ‘tough on crime’ policy agenda.

Tasmanian Audit Office and Custodial Inspector reports all point to ‘tough on crime’ perversely undermining rehabilitation and driving up crime. It’s not working, and it’s past time the Liberals realised. 

Funding Legal Aid is absolutely critical in equitable access to justice. It must, however, be accompanied by a shift away from antiquated policy to make real progress in reducing crime and injustice.

We hope tomorrow’s State Budget will include support for the Environmental Defenders Office in the ‘access to justice’ funding package.

The EDO are a Community Legal Centre that provides essential advice to community members every day on planning matters. This critical service helps unclog planning authorities and improves protections for publicly-owned land – they can’t be left out in the cold, again.