Working for Change

RLC works to make positive change in laws and the legal system in each of its specialist areas of law. RLC's work in this area is based on our clients' experience in interacting with the legal system.

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Key Issues

Joint Submission: Senate Select Committee Inquiry into Temporary Migration

RLC's International Student Service NSW made submissions with Kingsford Legal Centre, and the Migrant Employment Legal Service advocating for comprehensive workplace reforms to address the exploitation of people who hold temporary visas.

RLC contributes to UN human rights submission

RLC authored and co-authored numerous sections of an Australian Human Rights Scorecard Report, submitted to the Human Rights Commission in July to inform Australia’s 2021 Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

Renting and Coronavirus Statement

RLC stands with Tenants' Union of NSW and 70+ other housing and community organisations and housing researchers calling on National Cabinet to support renters stay in their homes and out of debt during the COVID-19 crisis.

RLC Submission: Code of Practice for Buy Now, Pay Later Providers

RLC has provided a response to the Australian Finance Industry Association’s (AFIA) Code of Practice for Buy Now, Pay Later Providers.

Call for welfare support for temporary visa holders 

In April, the Migrant Employment Legal Service has written to the Minister for Families and Social Services, raising concerns about the inability of migrant workers to access welfare payments.

International student community in crisis during COVID-19

In March, RLC wrote to key federal, state and local government representatives in relation to the significant impact COVID-19 is having on Australia’s international student community.

Relief for renters during COVID-19: legislation must stop all evictions

In March, Redfern Legal Centre wrote to the NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, the Hon Kevin Andrews MP, calling for urgent support for NSW tenants during the coronavirus pandemic.

Greater protections needed for migrant workers during COVID-19

Community legal centres have called on the federal government to protect migrant workers from visa cancellations during the COVID-19 crisis and urged businesses to rely on stand-down provisions rather than sack skilled employees.

Joint Statement: No Evictions During Health Crisis

RLC has signed a joint statement with around 100 other organisations that support tenants, calling on Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to ensure that no-one is evicted during the coronavirus pandemic.

Relief for RLC clients through changes to the Fines Act NSW

The Fines Amendment Act 2019 No 13 (NSW) which will introduce significant changes to the Fines Act 1996 (NSW) has been adopted by the NSW Parliament and was assented to on 21 November 2019.

RLC Submissions: Religious Freedom Reforms & Religious Freedom Reforms – second exposure draft

RLC first made submissions to the Religious Freedom Bills consultation on 2 October 2019, detailing a number of our concerns. On 31 January 2020, we made further submissions on the second exposure draft of the Bills.

UNSW Report: Rethinking Strip Searches by NSW Police

A UNSW report commissioned by RLC says the law is failing to provide NSW police with clear guidance on conducting strip searches. The report was added to the record of the inquest into music festival deaths in NSW.

Open Letter: Legal profession calls for legislative change to address the rise in police strip searches 

Representatives from over 50 legal organisations and prominent members of the legal profession have signed an open letter to the NSW Police Minister outlining the harmful impacts of strip searches.

Joint Submission: Senate Standing Committee on Economics Inquiry into Unlawful Underpayment of Employees’ Remuneration

RLC's International Student Legal Service NSW has provided a response alongside WEstjustice Community Legal Centre and the Migrant Employment Legal Service regarding the underpayment and exploitation of migrant workers.

Sexual harassment in the workplace

A joint report by Redfern Legal Centre, Kingsford Legal Centre, Women's Legal Service NSW and the National Association of Community Legal Centres was submitted to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces.

Financial Abuse Panel sows seeds for change 

In March 2019, RLC held a panel discussion on financial abuse in domestic violence, a fundraiser presented by RLC's Young Professional's Committee.

Police strip searches in NSW: RLC's Safe and Sound campaign

RLC's Safe and Sound campaign aims to raise awareness about rising rates of police strip searches in NSW, and is calling for legistative change to prevent the overreach of police powers in this area.

Review of Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW)

RLC is a member of the NSW Community Legal Centres Care & Protection Network Committee contributing to the Committee’s extensive review of the wholesale amendment agenda of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW). Separately, RLC initiated legislative reform seeking amendment to section 21 of the Act.

RLC Submission: Review of the early release of superannuation benefits

This RLC submission focuses on the impact of current evidentiary requirements for the early release of superannuation benefits on victims of family and domestic violence.

RLC Briefing: Responses to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and Amendment (Review) Bill 2018

RLC is calling for a better balancing of renters' and landlords' rights by ending no grounds and retaliatory evictions, and ensuring that share housing tenants without written agreements can access the same legal protections under the Act as other renters.

RLC Submission: ASIC Consultation Paper on Credit Cards and Responsible Lending Assessments

RLC's submission focuses on the impact of irresponsible lending practices on consumers in response to the ASIC Consultation Paper on Credit Cards and Responsible Lending Assessments.

RLC & Aboriginal Legal Service Submission: Review of the Surveillance Devices Amendment (Police Body-Worn Video)

In this joint submission, RLC and ALS state that operational and legislative changes are required to improve the capacity of police body worn cameras to promote police accountability and transparency.

For more key issues, see our Working For Change archive

Read more about our work, to make positive changes in laws and the legal system, under each of our services here.

Recent Submissions

30 July 2020 Joint Submission: Senate Select Committee Inquiry into Temporary Migration

9 April 2020 Submission: Code of Practice for Buy Now, Pay Later Providers

6 March 2020 Joint Submission: Senate Standing Committee on Economics Inquiry into Unlawful Underpayment of Employees’ Remuneration

31 January 2020 Religious Freedom Reforms – second exposure draft

2 October 2019 Submission: Religious Freedoms reforms

1 April 2019  #MeToo: Legal Responses to Sexual Harassment at Work

15 February 2019 Submission: Review of the early release of superannuation benefits

2 August 2018 Submission: ASIC Consultation Paper on Credit Cards and Responsible Lending Assessments

14 June 2018 Submission: Review of the Surveillance Devices Amendment (Police Body-Worn Video) Act 2014

10 November 2017 Submission on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Housing Affordability) Bill 2017

17 September 2017 ALRC Inquiry into the Incarceration Rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

13 December 2016 Inquiry into Freedom of Speech

12 February 2016 Submission: Statutory Review of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010

11 February 2016 Submission: Review of Alcohol Restriction Zones

18 December 2015 Submission: National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination against Older Australians and Australians with Disability

23 November 2015 Submission: Inquiry into elder abuse in New South Wales

16 October 2015 Submission: NSW Parliament inquiry into Reparations for the Stolen Generation

More RLC Submissions

RLC In Hansard

14 November 2019 Alex Greenwich on the impact of community legal centres (Private Members' Statements)

13 November 2018 Review of Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW) – Second Reading

26 September 2018 Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Bill 2018 – Second Reading

12 September 2018  Modern Slavery Bill 2018 – Second Reading

RLC In the Media

RLC in the Media: International students 'robbed' of super 20 July 2020 When the coronavirus pandemic wiped out other job opportunities, international student Andres Puerto decided...
RLC in the Media: Covid's impact on international students 6 July 2020 RLC's international student solicitor Sean Stimson discusses supports provided by the NSW Government to...
RLC in the Media: Complaints against police exceed targets in two out of three NSW districts 5 July 2020 Two-thirds of NSW police stations had an excessive number of complaints made against officers last year, with...
RLC in the Media: Family await answers after teen's arrest 5 July 2020 The father of an Indigenous teenager who had his legs kicked out from beneath him while being arrested in...
RLC in the Media: Citizen Journalism and Technology: Holding Police to Account 30 June 2020 Advances in technology have enabled citizens with portable equipment to record and post incidents of police...