AN INQUIRY into the provision of legal aid services to Indigenous Australian was recommenced last week by the Federal Parliament’s Public Accounts and Audit Committee.
The hearing is a continuation of those held in Canberra, Sydney, Darwin and Adelaide during the previous parliament on Indigenous law and justice. According to chair of the Committee, Bob Baldwin MP, it “provides new members with the opportunity to acquaint themselves with conditions on the ground”.
The Committee will seek to be updated on two policy developments in providing law and justice services to Indigenous Australians. The first is the tendering out of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services currently in process in Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland. As well, the Committee is hoping to be updated on the announced increase of Family Violence Prevention Legal Services.
“The Committee is interested in the access of Indigenous Australians, and particularly Indigenous women, to legal services in regional, remote and urban areas,” Baldwin said.
“Besides taking evidence from the local Aboriginal Legal Service, it will hear from a Community Legal Centre, and a Family Violence Prevention Legal Service… as well as community organisations that help Indigenous people and use legal services,” he said.