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#FundEqualJustice: Financial Rights and the Insurance Law Service

The Financial Rights Insurance Law Service faces the prospect of closure because of looming government funding cuts to the community legal centre sector. This despite an ever-increasing demand for insurance advice including a 16 per cent spike in requests for insurance advice and assistance following the CommInsure scandal in March 2016.

The Financial Rights Legal Centre is one of many Community Legal Centres (CLCs) facing an uncertain future with Federal Government funding cuts of 30% nationally from 1 July 2017.

Hundreds of thousands of people are missing out on the legal help they need. In 2014-2015, over 160,000 of Australia’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable people had to be turned away by community legal centres, largely due to a lack of resources.

Unresolved legal problems generate a range of flow-on effects, including significant costs to the government and broader community. Access to legal help can prevent or reduce the escalation of legal problems and reduce costs to the justice system and other areas such as health and housing.

CLCs including our own provide a unique and essential free legal help to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the community.

Without guaranteed funding there will be a significant negative impact on the hundreds of thousands of people who seek legal help from CLCs, as well as more broadly across Australia’s legal and other service systems.

Financial Rights coordinator Karen Cox recently spoke with Radio National Breakfast’s Fran Kelly and Insurance News on the issue.

If you would like to support the CLC sector’s #fundequaljustice campaign email your local member of parliament

For further information or media comment contact Drew MacRae, Policy and Advocacy Officer on 02 8204 1386 or at drew.macrae@financialrights.org.au