Skip to content
Government Federal

Continuation of vital family law funding welcomed

National Legal Aid 2 mins read

National Legal Aid (NLA) has welcomed the MYEFO commitment to providing $17.1 million to Legal Aid Commissions across Australia in recognition of the ongoing impact of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) reforms.

The FCFCOA reforms, whilst essential in aiming to provide early resolution of family law matters, have created unforeseen effects on the provision of family law legal assistance including increased workloads and consequently, a reduction of available family law legal aid lawyers. 72 per cent of all legal aid grants are delivered by private practitioners.

“We are pleased to see the provision of this family law funding as it is critical in the context of a legal aid system that is not keeping up with demand and struggling to retain lawyers to undertake this vital work.” said John Boersig, A/Chair National Legal Aid.

“For example, in NSW there were 162 approvals for court-based mediation in 2020-2021 and in 2022-2023 over 1120 were approved. In Queensland it is estimated that there has been a 32 per cent reduction in the availability of family law legal aid lawyers since the FCFCOA reforms.”

The much-needed funding will enable Legal Aid Commissions to continue to resource the additional hours of work required of lawyers and to help meet the increased demand for family dispute resolution resulting from the FCFCOA reforms.

National Legal Aid’s recently released Justice on the Brink Report identified that an additional $69 million a year is needed to address the erosion of legal aid fees with average payments reducing $31 per hour over the last decade in real terms.

The report also found that the Commonwealth pays its own lawyers between 70 and 226 per cent higher than the Legal Aid fees paid.

The legal assistance system is currently being reviewed by the Federal Government with a report due in early 2024.

“Private lawyers are an essential part of the legal aid system, and they undertake complex work that supports some of the most marginalised people in our community including women and children who are escaping domestic and family violence.

The provision of this funding is a good first step in what we hope will be ongoing and increased investment in Legal Aid by the Federal Government over the next few years.”

Contact: Katherine McKernan, Executive Director, National Legal Aid 0425 288 446.

Contact details:

Contact: Katherine McKernan, Executive Director, National Legal Aid 0425 288 446.


More from this category

  • Energy, Government Federal
  • 01/03/2024
  • 15:51

RE-Alliance calls for governments to invest in building trust for Australia’s clean energy shift

Friday 1 March 2024 Today’s response by the Energy and Climate Ministerial Council to Andrew Dyer’s Community Engagement Review means Australia can move forward in securing an energy transformation that delivers long-term benefits to regional Australia. RE-Alliance is an independent community-based organisation working with regions navigating renewable energy projects for more than a decade. Andrew Bray, National Director of RE-Alliance, said he supports the recommendations in the Review to better communicate with and involve local communities, but stressed more concrete and ambitious actions are required. “State and Federal governments are spending billions to attract investment in renewable energy, but a…

  • Gambling, Government Federal
  • 01/03/2024
  • 15:22
Alliance for Gambling Reform

Fed Govt must strengthen limp NT online gambling laws – New NT laws fail to protect communities from rapacious foreign operators

The Federal Government should step in to stop the Northern Territory government continuing to offer a tax haven to multi-billion-dollar foreign online gambling operators. It makes no sense for the Northern Territory government to effectively be the online gambling regulator for the nation. The chief executive of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Carol Bennett, said that poor regulation by the Northern Territory government is a key reason adults and young people across Australia are being bombarded by online gambling advertising. The NT government has put a Bill to parliament, the Racing and Wagering Bill 2024, that seeks to make changes…

  • Government Federal
  • 01/03/2024
  • 13:02
Parliament of Australia

Essential services upgrades for the Mu?itjulu community and new Commonwealth Parliament Offices in Western Australia

Under thePublic Works Committee Act 1969,theParliamentary Standing Committee on Public Workswill consider two new proposed works: Parks Australia – Muṯitjulu Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Northern Territory, Essential Services Project– $91.87million The Director of National Parks (DNP), within the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) portfolio, is responsible for the provision (supply and maintenance) of essential power, water, and sewer services to the Muṯitjulu community. The works will upgrade and replace essential power, water and sewer services supporting the Muṯitjulu community as the existing services are over 30 years old, non-compliant with current Australian standards and have…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.