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Additional top-up funding for community law centres

Hon Judith Collins

Minister of Justice

9 April 2013 Media Statement
Additional top-up funding for community law centres

Justice Minister Judith Collins announced today the Government will provide an additional $12.1 million in funding for community law centres (CLCs).

The Government top-up over the next two years will bridge a significant on-going shortfall in community law centres’ funding.

Ms Collins says the gap is the result of the CLCs’ traditional source of funding, the Lawyers and Conveyancers Special Fund, halving since 2008.

“I’m very pleased the Government has been able to provide CLCs with certainty for the next two years,” Ms Collins said.

“This money brings to about $36 million the amount the Government has provided as top-up funding for CLCs since 2008 when house sales and interest rates declined and, as a result, returns from CLCs’ historical funding source fell by about half.

“Securing funding for CLCs for two years at present levels is a significant commitment by the Government during a time of funding constraints.

“Ministry of Justice officials will be working with CLCs to modernise the way they operate and ensure they are well-positioned in future to provide sustainable community legal services to vulnerable people across the country.

“Community law centres have an important role to play in contributing to access to justice. I expect CLCs to work with officials at the Ministry of Justice to make the necessary changes happen,” Ms Collins said.

ENDS

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