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

RLC submissions: consumer credit reforms (February 2021)

RLC made submissions to the Senate Inquiry into Australia’s consumer credit framework in response to the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Supporting Economic Recovery) Bill 2020.

RLC submissions: consumer credit reforms (November 2020)

RLC has provided responses to the proposed suite of changes to Australia’s consumer credit framework contained in the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth).

Save safe lending
In November 2020, RLC joined 125 leading consumer advocacy groups, legal and family violence organisations, financial counsellors and others in signing a national open letter raising concerns about Government plans to wind back responsible lending laws that protect people from exploitative lending practices. 

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.

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

3 February 2021 National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Supporting Economic Recovery) Bill 2020

20 November 2020 Treasury consultation: Consumer Credit Reforms

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

More RLC Submissions

RLC In Hansard

18 November 2020  Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Amendment (Coercive and Controlling Behaviour) Bill 2020 (Second reading speech, Ms Abigail Boyd, MLC)

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: Government banking changes ‘perpetuate abuse’, domestic violence groups fear 25 February 2021 Advocates fear the Morrison government’s plan to scrap responsible lending laws will “perpetuate abuse” of...
RLC in the Media: Why most people won't report workplace sexual harassment 17 February 2021 The majority of Australians who experience sexual harassment at work do not report it.
RLC in the Media: Law on Police Using Body Worn Cameras in NSW 24 January 2021 The Attorney General, Mark Speakman has rejected calls to require police to hand over body-worn video footage...
RLC in the Media: Concern over government plans to wind back responsible lending laws 10 January 2021 Some emergencies happen quietly as Redfern Legal Centre’s financial abuse solicitor Jasmine Opdam knows all...
RLC in the Media: Law enforcement watchdog recommends overhaul of NSW Police strip searches 15 December 2020 The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) has made 25 recommendations after on-going investigations into...