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CUTS TO LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO BE REVERSED! – Great relief for the most vulnerable in our community!

Attorney-General George Brandis has announced that $25.5 million of proposed cuts to frontline legal assistance services will not go ahead. This includes restoring funding of $11.5 million for Indigenous legal assistance over the next two years. This announcement provides much needed relief for the most vulnerable in our community and the restoration of funding provides a level of much needed certainty for organisations operating within the legal assistance sector.

ATSILS welcomes the responsible approach taken by the Federal Government to reverse the massive cuts which would have had dire impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. We thank the Attorney General for listening to the widespread concerns expressed by the legal fraternity, community services sector and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

ATSILS pays tribute to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services around the nation and the vital work of our peak body NATSILS in bringing widespread attention to the serious social and economic consequences that would have resulted from the proposed cuts. The value of our highly specialized services has been advocated by many and we thank our committed staff, the broader legal fraternity and community services sector for their support throughout an extended period of uncertainty.

Whilst we celebrate the level of relief this news brings, were are ever mindful of the crisis rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment and family violence currently gripping the nation. There is plenty more critical work to be done to change culture and address these national crises. In face of this we join the national call for the Government to heed the Productivity Commission’s Access to Justice Arrangements report which called for a further $200m investment into the legal assistance sector, including the Family Violence Prevention Legal Services.

In the meantime we continue to get on with what we do best – providing innovative, professional and culturally competent legal services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Queensland.

 

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NATSILS MEDIA RELEASENATSILS welcomes the reversal of funding cuts
http://www.natsils.org.au/portals/natsils/26%20March%20NATSILS%20Reversal%20of%20Cuts.pdf

 

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Attorney General’s MEDIA RELEASE: Legal aid funding assured to support the most vulnerable in our community
http://www.attorneygeneral.gov.au/…/26-March-2015-Legal-aid…

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In the lead up to Attorney General Brandis’ announcement that proposed funding cuts to Indigenous legal services would be reversed, our national peak body NATSILS was among 26 leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, health, community and peak legal organisations to write an open letter to the PM to reverse funding cuts to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services.

See the Open Letter via NATSILS website:

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http://www.natsils.org.au/portals/natsils/Open%20Letter%20to%20PM_25.03.14.pdf 

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Prisoner Throughcare Program: aiming to reduce recidivism & incarceration rates

Reducing recidivism & incarceration rates by supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners.

This week the ATSILS’ Prisoner Throughcare staff  are meeting with staff from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and a team from Harvard University. The team from Harvard are conducting research into the effectiveness of Prisoner Throughcare services and will be visiting our Brisbane, Ipswich and Townsville offices.

Prisoner Throughcare Services

 Photo (L to R): Gregory Shadbolt (Principal Legal Officer – ATSILS), Gerald Warner (Senior Prisoner Throughcare Officer – ATSILS), Bec (Harvard University), Catherine Marks (Prime Minister & Cabinet) & Michael (Harvard University)

 

More information on ATSILS’ Prisoner Throughcare Program

Paying for Funerals – ASIC Money Smart Resource

 

pdfPaying for Funerals Booklet

 

Money Smart Video: Understanding Funeral Plans

More Information and Resources
View more ASIC Money Smart Resources written specifically for Aboriginal & Torres Islander people. ASIC_MoneySmartLogo

 

 

 

ASIC Indigenous Help Line

ASIC Indigenous Help Line

ASIC Be Smart Buy Smart

Be Smart Buy Smart: Understand Your Rights as a Consumer – ASIC Money Smart Resource

 

pdfA simple guide to help you understand your rights as a consumer.

 


 

More Information and Resources

View more ASIC Money Smart Resources written specifically for Aboriginal & Torres Islander people. 

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ASIC Indigenous Help Line

ASIC Indigenous Help Line