The Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) has welcomed funding of $1.2 million for its PilchConnect service which helps small not-for-profit community organisations.
Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan, made the announcement about the funding, which will be provided over a period of four years, yesterday (28 May).
PilchConnect provides free or low-cost legal advice, information and training, and also campaigns to improve laws that affect those in the not-for-profit sector.
PilchConnect Director Juanita Pope said this funding will allow more not-for-profit organisations to get on with their core work.
“It is great to see that the Victorian Government continues to recognise the importance of small community-based organisations,” said Pope. “In many ways these organisations are the social glue of our state. They provide affordable housing, they protect our environment, and they are on hand when we need them in a crisis.”
Kathy Russell of the Women’s Liberation Halfway House (WLHH) also welcomed the funding.
“For small services such as ours, the probability of keeping up with the myriad of changes to the law would not be possible without the support of services such as PilchConnect. As we are a very small organisation these resources are invaluable to us,” said Russell.
A report conducted by Deloitte Access Economics for PILCH last year estimated that 3500 additional client services were provided to Victorians because organisations like WLHH spent less time worrying about legal issues.
Pope said PilchConnect’s not-for-profit clients are time poor and often working in a volunteer ‘out of hours’ capacity.
“The Victorian Government’s support means we can keep helping the helpers so they can get on with what they do best,” said Pope.
PilchConnect was established in 2008 and operates in Victoria.