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A-G: ‘Only a fraction’ of funding for women’s legal services was delivered last year

Lawyers will be “staggered to realise”, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC MP said last weekend, that funding by the Morrison government for women’s legal services has fallen well short of the pledged amount.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 11 August 2022 Politics
A-G: ‘Only a fraction’ of funding for women’s legal services was delivered last year
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Speaking last weekend at the Australian Women Lawyers annual national conference, A-G Dreyfus reflected on the “enormous pressure” that women’s legal services are under across the country. 

I know many of you volunteer your valuable expertise regularly to those services and you may be staggered to realise, as I recently discovered on becoming Attorney-General, that only a fraction of the $129 million announced by the previous government last year as funding for women’s legal services has in fact gone to women’s legal services,” he espoused.

“Women’s legal services badly need all of this funding, but figures I have been provided indicate that, in Tasmania for example, just one-quarter of the funding actually flowed to Women’s Legal Service Tasmania.”


It is a similar story, A-G Dreyfus continued, in most of the states and territories.

However, he noted that, in Queensland, almost all of the funding pledged has actually gone to Women’s Legal Service Queensland.

“I’m determined to ensure that this does not happen again,” the A-G proclaimed.

“I will do what I can to ensure that funding goes to where it is intended and women in crisis get the support that they need.”

A-G Dreyfus also used his address to the conference — delivered virtually — to discuss the Albanese government’s plans regarding paid family and domestic violence leave, implementation of the Respect@Work recommendations, and restoring integrity to the judicial appointments process.

“I am honoured to be again able to serve as Attorney-General,” Mr Dreyfus concluded.

“As you can tell from my remarks, there is much work to be done.”

During last weekend’s conference, Lawyers Weekly broke the news of Chief Justice Susan Kiefel’s remarks about the barriers that remain in place for women in law and, in particular, the need for more female senior counsel appearing before the High Court of Australia.