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 to the Senate Select Committee on Job Security

RLC and Kingsford Legal Centre and have made a joint submission to the Senate Select Committee on Job Security, calling for reforms to increase access to secure employment, and ensure that all workers receive strong legal protections, regardless of the nature of their employment.

Increased protections for renters needed as moratorium on evictions ends in NSW

RLC has joined more than 40 tenants’ advocacy groups and NGOs, in calling for greater protections for renters following the expiration of the moratorium on evictions in NSW.

Safe safe lending: What you can do

On 26 February EARG representatives including RLC appeared before the Economics Legislation Committee to discuss the impact of the reforms for victim-survivors of economic abuse.

RLC submissions: consumer credit reforms (February 2021)

RLC has 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

21 April 2021 Submission to the Senate Select Committee on Job Security (RLC and Kingsford Legal Centre)

22 February 2021 Coercive control in domestic relationships

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

29 January 2021 RLC's Response to NSW Government’s Homelessness Strategy 2018-2023

18 December 2020 RLC submission: Follow-up Review of the Management of Public Housing Maintenance Contracts

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

15 April 2021 Select Committee Report on The high level of First Nations people in custody and oversight and review of deaths in custody

15 March 2021  National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Supporting Economic Recovery) Bill 2020

25 February 2021 National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Supporting Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 (second reading)

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: “Had a bad day”: Officer who kicked teenager to the ground finally charged 4 May 2021 It’s been a year since a police officer went viral for kicking an Indigenous teenager to the ground during an...
RLC in the Media: Vast majority of COVID-19 fines remain unpaid 3 May 2021 Data obtained by RLC reveals that the majority of people issued with a $1000 COVID-19 fine in NSW have not...
RLC in the Media: More than 5,500 people get NSW police record after strip searches which found nothing illegal 23 April 2021 New data obtained by RLC reveals that 61% of people strip searched between 2018-2020 had their details...
RLC in the Media More than 5,500 Australians ended up with police records despite doing nothing illegal 23 April 2021 More than 5,500 people in New South Wales have found themselves with police records after being strip...
RLC in the Media: Does NSW have a problem with Police Strip Searches? 29 March 2021 RLC Police Accountability solicitor, Samantha Lee, was interviewed by the Sentinel on issues around strip...