NSW Greens MLC, Dawn Walker has called on the National Party to intervene to ensure the survival of the Murwillumbah Community Legal Service following a looming cut of $180,000 to the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre’s annual budget.
“Community Legal Centres play a vital role in providing free legal services to vulnerable people, including women and children experiencing family violence, people with disability and people experiencing elder abuse who typically can't get legal assistance anywhere else” said Dawn Walker.
“Concerns that the Murwillumbah Community Legal Service and their outreach services to Tweed Heads and Pottsville are facing a drastic reduction or even closure after massive cuts to their funding by the LNP Government is alarming, especially given that it’s the only service of its kind in Tweed Shire.
“The Murwillumbah Community Legal Service is just the latest example of the Liberal-National Party’s ongoing war on Murwillumbah, following the slated sale of Murwillumbah TAFE, closure of the Tweed Valley Women’s Service and the near closure of Murwillumbah Birthing Centre.
“The Tasmanian State Government has already committed to covering the federal funding cuts to community legal centres at least over 2017/18. The NSW Government should do the same as a bare minimum.
It’s time that the North Coast Nationals, specifically Thomas George (Member for Lismore) and Benjamin Franklin (Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW) stood up for people on the North Coast and ensured the State Government covered these looming cuts to Community Legal Centres so local residents can access the basic legal services they need” said Dawn Walker.
The cuts to the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre are part of a 30% cut to Community Legal Centres Australia-wide that are due to take effect from July 1 2017.
A town meeting is being held regarding the cuts to Murwillumbah Community Legal Service on Wednesday 5th April at 5.30pm at the Court House Hotel, Murwillumbah.