2016 Appeal – Community Legal Centres Queensland

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Community Legal Centres Quensland is the peak body for community legal centres in Queensland.  Community Legal Centres Queensland works for a fair and just Queensland and an important part of this mission is to promote community legal centres to people in need.


The majority of the people who come to a community legal centre are female (68%), have a weekly income under $500 (62%) are disabled (16%) or identify as Aboriginal (6%). Our 33 independent community legal centres are located across Queensland; as far north as Cairns, west as Mt Isa, and south as the Gold Coast. All centres are not-for-profit, community-based organisations with a focus on helping people who are disadvantaged or have special needs.


Each year, fifty percent of Queenslanders experience a legal problem and sixty-four per cent of community legal centres are forced to turn away people in need of free legal advice. As funding cuts to the sector continue, community legal centres simply do not have the resources to help everyone who needs their services, often leaving the most vulnerable people in our community with no other options and a series of escalating legal, financial, and social problems. Unresolved legal problems can escalate, leading to added strain on the justice system and further legal, financial, social, and health problems for the individual.


With your help, Community Legal Centres Queensland and its member centres can continue to help people in need and provide them free legal advice.


How does Community Legal Centres Queensland assist people?

Community Legal Centres Queensland assists the community, particularly disadvantaged and marginalised people, to obtain access to legal services by:

(a) assisting people to resolve legal problems by providing information and referral services;
(b) providing information and educational resources about legal rights;
(c) providing referrals to legal assistance services and facilities;
(d) supporting and assisting community legal centres to provide these services;
(e) providing a state forum for community legal centres;
(f) developing and coordinating Queensland community legal centres’ policy; and
(g) advancing the interests of community legal centres within Queensland.

Please give me some examples of what Community Legal Centres Queensland will do with my donation?

Last year Community Legal Centres Queensland:

  • Our members helped 46,000 individuals last year, providing 100,000 pieces of information and advice and opening over 9,000 new cases.  Community Legal Centres Queensland itself provided legal information to 600 people by telephone, and provided them with links to services that could provide further help.
  • 24% of the inquiries to Community Legal Centres Queensland were from people with disputes with their neighbours, so we developed a website to provide people with information about their rights and responsibilities.
  • Community Legal Centres Queensland encouraged changes to the National Energy Retail Rules to make sure energy retailers couldn’t vary tariffs.  While the changes weren’t adopted, energy retailers are now required to better inform consumers about any terms and conditions relating to price changes.
  • Community Legal Centres Queensland’s submission to the review of Queensland’s Right to Information laws called for easier access to documents, more accessible forms and reduced fees.
  • Community Legal Centres Queensland objected to the $120 fee for lodging debtor’s petition under the Bankruptcy Act, and highlighted the impact on the poor and vulnerable who declare bankruptcy. The fee was then disallowed by the Senate.
  • The factsheet ‘How new police powers could affect ordinary Queenslanders’ was downloaded over 30,000 times.
    Community Legal Centres Queensland advocated against the introduction of voter identification for Queensland elections.
  • Community Legal Centres Queensland called for stronger protections against race hate speech in the consultation on changes to the Race Discrimination Act. Proposed changes to the laws were abandoned by the Government.

What types of people access Community Legal Centre's services?

National Association of Community Legal Centres paper entitled ‘The Work and Clients of CLSP CLCs in Numbers 2013/14 Financial Year showed that the people who come to a community legal centre:

  • Are female - 68%
  • Have a weekly income under $500 or $26,000 per year – 62%.
  • Receive a government pension, benefit or allowance – 44%
  • Live as a boarder, alone or in a shared house, hostel or boarding house – 19%
  • Have a mental or physical disability – 16%
  • Identify as ATSI – 6%.

Backers (1)

  1. J Clarkin 
    2 years ago
    $5

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