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Kingsford Legal Centre
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Welcome to the March issue of the Kingsford Legal Centre e-Bulletin, our first edition for the year.

Kingsford Legal Centre's funding will be cut by $92,000 per year commencing 1 July 2017

As we have outlined in previous editions of the ebulletin – the Federal Government has severely cut community legal centres’ funding.    Late in 2016 KLC was finally advised of the funding cut we are to receive - $92,000. We will have to dramatically reduce service to the most vulnerable members of our community.  The impact to our service of this cut is:-

CLCs nationally are facing a 'funding cliff'. Between 2017-2018 and 2019-2020, CLCs will be cut by $34.83 million nationally. This will be $12.1 million in 2017-2018, $11.6 million in 2018-2019 and $11.13 million in 2019-2020.
We are calling on the Federal Government to reverse the funding cuts, and also to implement the Productivity Commission recommendation to immediately inject $200 million additional funding per year to legal assistance services to meet existing unmet legal need. The Federal Government should inject 60% ($120 million) of this amount. This should include, at a minimum, $14.4 million per year to CLCs.
Sign our petition
Contact your Federal MP

Matt Thistlethwaite, Member for Kingsford Smith, stands up for KLC in Parliament

On 8 February, Matt Thistlethwaite MP delivered a speech in the House of Representatives calling for greater funding and support for CLCs and KLC.  You can view the speech here.

KLC is very grateful to Matt Thistlethwaite and his staff for their continued support for the work we do at KLC.
 
Staff have also met with State politicians Bruce Notley-Smith (Coogee) and Michael Daley (Maroubra) who have also pledged their support of our centre.  We have also with met Ron Hoenig (Heffron) in early March.  Again, we appreciate their support and encouragement of our work.  All of them refer community  members to our service, for us to give them legal advice.

KLC Director Anna Cody wins Human Rights Award

KLC is very proud to announce that Anna was the recipient of the Australian Human Rights Commission award in the Law category.  The award recognises Anna’s work over the past 25 years fighting for the rights of disadvantaged people to have access to quality legal assistance and access to justice.  When receiving the award Anna talked about the impact that the funding cuts will have across Australia and urged the government to reconsider its position.   Congratulations Anna – well deserved.

KLC Office Manager Denise Wasley recognised for her Community Work

We are also delighted to announce that Denise was the recipient of an Australia Day Community Service Award for her outstanding service to the community of the City of Randwick.  This award reflects KLC’s commitment to delivering a community development model of service to our clients and our focus on our large housing estate community.  Denise rates her time spent with community members as the most rewarding aspect of her work.  Congratulations to Denise on this achievement.
2016- Another Big Year at KLC

Law Reform Round-up

In January, KLC lodged a submission with the United Nation's Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women in response to a call for submissions providing information on violence against women in Australia. In the submission, KLC highlighted:
  • the prevalence of family violence in Australia
  • the negative impacts upcoming funding cuts to community legal centres will have on victims
  • the need to reform the Victims' Rights and Support Act NSW  to better recognise the impact of trauma caused by domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse;
  • the need to reform commonwealth anti-discrimination laws to include status as a victim or survivor of such violence as a protected attribute.
In February, KLC made a submission on the offence of serious racial vilification in NSW. In the submission, we argued for a number of changes to the offence to make it more effective as it has never been successfully prosecuted in NSW. For example, we argued that the threshold for prosecution be lowered, that the offence be moved to the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) and that the police and DPP receive training on the offence.
 
Also in February, Anna Cody and Maria Nawaz appeared at the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights public hearing for their Inquiry into Freedom of speech and particularly s18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.  They submitted that the provisions are not being misused, in fact exclude some of our clients from making complaints. KLC submitted that religious vilification should be included and also ‘presumed race’.  KLC does not support changing the conciliation practices of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

How you can support KLC’s funding campaign

Please request a meeting with your local member and talk about your knowledge of KLC’s work and ask the Federal Government to reverse its cuts, and your local State member for the State government to pick up the $2.9 million cut.
Copyright © Kingsford Legal Centre 2016
Address: Kingsford Legal Centre, F8-003, UNSW, 2052 
Telephone: (+61 2) 9385 9566
Email: legal@unsw.edu.au
 UNSW ABN 57 195 873 179
CRICOS Provider No: 00098G.

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KINGSFORD LEGAL CENTRE · F8-003 · UNSW · Sydney, NSW 2052 · Australia

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