LEGAL AID services in regional, rural and remote Australia are set to receive an additional $5.8 million in funding from the Federal Government.
The funding will be provided through the legal aid commissions in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania for a range of initiatives to improve legal aid services for communities in regional, rural and remote areas.
“Helping country firms to employ lawyers and build their capacity to provide local legal services will ensure people can get help early with their legal problems and prevent these problems from escalating,” Attorney General Robert McClelland said.
Funding is also being made available through the National Association of Community Legal Centres to support country law graduates who are completing their practical legal training in regional Australia.
McClelland believes that this will encourage graduates to consider long-term employment in regional areas and increase the number of graduates who choose to work as legal practitioners in their local communities.
The announcement is being supported by the Law Society of New South Wales, with President Hugh Macken saying that many solicitors working in regional and remote communities experience a great deal of pressure and require greater support.
“The shortage of solicitors in rural and regional areas is getting worse. This funding will help turn this around,” Macken said.