Greater access to legal services for disadvantaged

A Coast pensioner has been refused bail after being charged with drug trafficking.
A Coast pensioner has been refused bail after being charged with drug trafficking. Rockhampton Morning Bulletin

THE State Government claims vulnerable and disadvantaged Queenslanders will have greater access to legal services with more than $100 million investment earmarked for organisations across the state.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said on Tuesday the multi-million dollar funding boost would ensure the most marginalised members of the community are given the same opportunity to legal guidance as everyone else.

"Everyone deserves the right to exercise their legal rights and meet their legal obligations but often this can be a challenging process for those who need it most," he said.

"Legal Aid Queensland will receive $64.4 million (over the next year) to continue their valuable work assisting economically and socially disadvantaged people across the state.

"Another $30.1 million will be invested in a range of other community organisations over the next three years to provide free or low-cost legal assistance services."

Queensland Law Society president Ian Brown welcomed the announcement.

"We are extremely pleased the State Government has committed to this funding over the next three years," he said.

"By announcing funding in a three-year block it allows organisations to better plan for the future.

"The funding, it appears at first glance, to be a significant increase for some organisations."

Mr Bleijie said the announcement came under a new funding model for the Legal Practitioner Interest on Trust Accounts Fund Grants Fund that would ensure organisations responded to identified community legal needs, while providing greater transparency and accountability.

Topics:  disadvantage

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