Bayside Community Legal Service was disappointed in Queensland Attorney General, Yvette D’Ath’s announcement this week that they would only receive one-year of funding for the next financial year.
The COVID-19 health crisis means that more than ever before, an increasing number of people in the Bayside Community have a greater need for help with legal issues. This includes domestic and family violence and safety at home, credit and debt, loss of employment, family contact arrangements, access to social security payments and residential issues.
Leeha James, President, Bayside Community Legal Centre, said, ‘We have served our local Bayside community since 1992. Right now, we are seeing an increasing number of people in our community needing legal help due to COVID-19. The uncertainty and limited funding are problematic because it comes at a time when we need to be expanding our services to meet the increased need for legal help, not reducing access to those services.’
‘We will continue to serve our Bayside community, and this funding uncertainty will not deter us. We are committed to finding alternative ways to adequately fund our legal service to ensure we continue to help those in our community. Like those who we help in our Bayside Community, we will find a way through this.’
‘I have seen time and again when someone doesn’t receive legal help in a prompt, professional and holistic manner, associated social and legal issues often worsen. This includes complications with family law matters such as property settlement and arrangements for children, the involvement of child protection agencies, increase in consumer and social security debt, increased risk of homelessness and housing instability.’