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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 15 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5773..

Answers to questions

Legal advice—homeless people

(Question No 349)

Mr Seselja asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 14 October 2009:

(1) What progress has been made in establishing a free legal service for homeless people.

(2) When will such a service be established.

(3) What is the total cost of this policy initiative.

(4) Is this a firm commitment or an aspirational one.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) & (2) The Homeless Persons Legal Service is a joint project of Legal Aid ACT, community legal centres in the ACT, and the Canberra office of the Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS).

The staff of the Homeless Persons Legal Service will be employed by Welfare Rights & Legal Centre (WRLC) and operate from WRLC's premises at Havelock House. A Principal Solicitor/Project Manager has been appointed and commenced in the position on 16 November 2009.

A Project Reference Group comprising representatives of Legal Aid ACT, WRLC and the ALS has been established to provide policy oversight and direction. ACT Government's funding for the project is being channelled through Legal Aid ACT which has entered into a MOU with WRLC covering matters such as funding and accountability arrangements.

The Homeless Persons Legal Service will operate on an outreach model providing legal advice and other legal assistance to homeless people at shelters, emergency food outlets and other welfare agencies assisting homeless people. Legal services will be provided by staff of the Homeless Persons Legal Service, staff of the partner legal aid agencies, and by volunteers.

(3) The ACT Government is providing funding of $291,000 over two financial years to fund the project and the Commonwealth Government has allocated $50,000 for the project in 2009/10 through the Commonwealth Community Legal Services Program (CCLSP).

(4) The project implements a firm commitment by the Government to deliver the provision of legal services to homeless people.


(Question No 359)

Mr Seselja asked the Minister for Planning, upon notice, on 14 October 2009:

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