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Funding for Central Queensland Community Legal Centre – more needs to be done

Posted May 22, 2020

Central Queensland Community Legal Centre welcomed the Queensland Attorney General, Yvette D’Ath’s announcement on Monday that $2.4 million has been allocated to their community legal centre for the 2020-2025 period.

The certainty of five-year funding will ensure that Central Queensland Community Legal Centre can continue to provide free legal services to the people of Rockhampton.

The five-year funding certainty is essential, but the COVID-19 health crisis has meant that an increased number of local people had been contacting the Central Queensland Community Legal Centre to help them with legal issues.  This includes domestic violence and safety at home, credit and debt, loss of employment, family contact arrangements and license applications.

Fay Tzioutzias, Principal Solicitor/ CEO, Central Queensland Community Legal Centre said, ‘In continuing to maintain the Central Queensland Community Legal Centre’s core services the Government has recognized the value of the work of this sector and the value of the work of our centre.  We are grateful that the funding will enable the centre to continue to maintain its core services; however, without additional funding, the centre is limited in its ability to expand these services within the Central Queensland area.’

‘Locals have been coming to our centre in increased numbers due to the COVID-19.  The funding will go part way to meeting the needs of these people but will fall short of addressing the increased demand we are seeing.’

‘I have seen time and again when someone doesn’t receive the legal help, they require 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, workplace issues and job loss.’