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Funding Boost By Goff To Community Law Centres

Community Law Centres (CLCs) will receive a funding boost, raising expenditure on legal services for the financial year 2001/02 to $5.6 million said Justice Minister Phil Goff. Last year's funding was $5.2 million.

"The Government has high regard for the effectiveness of Community Law Centres in helping ensure access to justice and equity.

"The funding will be allocated to 24 CLCs including new centres in Taranaki and Manawatu and the new Maori Community Law Centre which opened today in Wellington replacing a centre disbanded last year.

"Normally, Community Law Centres are fully funded from interest derived from solicitor's trust accounts. However this year with falling interest rates, the funding derived from these trust accounts will be insufficient to meet the full costs incurred.

"To meet the shortfall expected, $500,000 in funding from reserves from previous years will be utilised.

"In addition Cabinet has approved the transfer of $700,000 from the Legal Services Agency Research and Education fund to its Community Law Centre fund.

"This will avoid a reduction in funding and services from the CLC's which would otherwise occur.

"Over the next year, we will be exploring avenues for ongoing supplementary funding for CLC's, should trust accounts continue to leave a shortfall in funding," Mr Goff said.

Ends

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