Working for Change Archive

RLC works to make positive change in laws and the legal system in each of its specialist areas of law. Listed below are some of our key areas of focus from years prior to 2018.

Key issues (pre-2021)

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.

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.

RLC Submission on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Housing Affordability) Bill 2017
Redfern Legal Centre’s submission is that the Social  Services  Legislation  Amendment  (Housing  Affordability)  Bill  2017 (the Bill) should not proceed.

RLC Submission: ALRC Inquiry into the Incarceration Rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Redfern Legal Centre’s submission focuses on the impact of policing on the incarceration rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

RLC Submission: Parliamentary Inquiry into Freedom of Speech

Redfern Legal Centre's submission to the Inquiry into Freedom of Speech, makes recommendations and draws on our earlier submissions in addressing the terms of this Inquiry.

RLC Submission to Domestic Violence and Gender Inequality Inquiry

Redfern Legal Centre made a submission to an inquiry into domestic violence and gender inequality conducted by the Commonwealth Senate Finance and Public Administration Committees.

RLC’s systemic responses to Private Training Colleges and VET FEE HELP complaints

RLC has assisted several vulnerable clients who have been compelled to sign up to inappropriate vocational training courses and VET FEE HELP loans.

New social housing laws being debated in Parliament could evict innocent tenants

RLC has been working with other Tenancy Services and Community Legal Centres to provide information and work to amend new laws currently being debated in the NSW State Parliament. RLC’s view is that the Bill should not proceed, and that retaining the discretion of the Tribunal is essential to ensuring fair outcomes for innocent tenants including victims of domestic violence. 

Consumer Credit and Responsible Lending

Since the introduction of significant reforms to the laws governing consumer credit in Australia, the Credit & Debt team has maintained a focus in its casework on the new responsible lending provisions.

Consolidation of Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws

RLC has been active in the project to consolidate federal anti-discrimination laws in Australia. Unfortunately, in March 2013, the Federal Government announced that it would not proceed with the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill, despite recommendations from the Senate enquiry held in January 2013.

Submissions (pre-2020)
 

October 2019 Submission: Religious Freedoms reforms

 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

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

For current issues and submissions see: Working for Change