Alex Greenwich on the value of community legal centres

On 14 November 2019, Alex Greenwich MP delivered a statement to the Legislative Assembly of the NSW Parliament highlighting the impact of communitiy legal centres, including the work of RLC and the Migrant Employment Legal Service.

Except: 14 November 2019

I put on record the immense value of Community Legal Centres for the Sydney electorate and my constituents. All members of Parliament rely on these independent community organisations for constituents to get legal help, particularly vulnerable people and communities that are disadvantaged and marginalised and would not otherwise be able to get access to justice. The Sydney electorate is well served by the Inner City Legal Centre and Redfern Legal Centre. I am proud to work closely with these two organisations in their efforts to make sure that everyone has access to legal help, no matter their background, abilities or resources...

Together with the Marrickville and Kingsford centres, the Inner City and Redfern legal centres are jointly running a new statewide service for migrant workers. This is a clear example of how legal centres identify and meet unmet needs. The Redfern Legal Centre provides help for health, employment, consumer and financial matters, domestic violence, policing and discrimination and has a specialist service for students, which is increasingly needed in response to unfair treatment of international students.

Redfern's tenancy and advocacy service is a valuable source of advice and representation to which my office regularly refers constituents, particularly tenants who may not have the skills or capacity to represent themselves in the tribunal. I was very pleased to launch the Redfern Legal Centre's recently updated resourceThe Repair Kit, which was originally published with funds from Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP Salary Trust. The centre's workshop with tenants in Woolloomooloo who were concerned about getting repairs done was a great way to efficiently get information and advice to a group of people.

Community Legal Centres are a vital source of support, advice and advocacy on public interest legal matters that affect large numbers of people... They provide valuable community resources and education, and they use their experience with vulnerable people to push for law and policy reform to improve justice and prevent discrimination and unfair treatment. I support the call from Community Legal Centres for adequate and secure funding so they can continue to provide their essential advice and hope that the Government will respond to my request for additional resources to enable this important work to continue.

Source: Alex Greenwich. Private Members' Statements (14 November 2019, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)