Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams today officially opened the new Legal Aid NSW regional office in Port Macquarie.
Mrs Williams said she was delighted Legal Aid NSW would now provide more legal services to residents in Port Macquarie, as well as covering the area from Taree and Forster to Kempsey.
“Residents will be able to access a range of legal services in civil and family law, including information, advice and minor assistance on every day issues such as consumer law, housing, employment law, divorce, debt and Centrelink issues, which is available free of charge,” Mrs Williams said.
“Legal Aid will also provide outreach services outside of the office, providing legal help in community centres and other venues across the lower Mid North Coast.”
“Studies have shown that there is a great need for a range of legal services in the region and the trained and experienced lawyers working from this office will help meet this demand, together with other existing organisations in the region,” Mrs Williams said.
“Solving legal issues early, before they reach court is the best, most cost effective and least stressful way of helping people.”
Mrs Williams used the official opening to announce that Mid North Coast Community Legal Centre has received $57,000 in funding to provide advice to parents of at risk children under the “Safe Home for Life” reforms.
The NSW Government has recently amended the Children and Young Persons (Care & Protection) Act 1998 with the introduction of the "Safe Home for Life" reforms.
“The reforms are designed to provide early intervention to support parents so that children and young people can remain with their families where it is safe to do so,” Mrs Williams said.
“The NSW Government is proud to open a dedicated Legal Aid office in Port Macquarie, which will greatly improve access to justice for disadvantaged people across the lower Mid North Coast,” said Attorney General Brad Hazzard.
“The office will share the services of an Aboriginal Access Officer with the Mid North Coast Community Legal Centre to help provide the most effective services to this section of the local community.”
Legal Aid NSW Chief Executive Officer Bill Grant said the office would be working closely with the courts, the private profession, the Mid North Coast Community Legal Centre, Aboriginal Legal Aid Service and other stakeholders.
"We rely on the support and cooperation of so many people who have made us welcome here in Port Macquarie, and will jointly provide a range of Legal Aid services, from civil and family law to legal representation for disadvantaged clients.”
Legal Aid NSW, the largest legal aid agency in Australia, provides assistance in resolving civil, family and criminal legal problems through its 22 offices, 194 regular outreach locations across the state.
Posted on 17 Wed, December, 2014
by Leslie Williams