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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (23 October) . .

Page.. 3615..


Business—legal assistance (Question No 329)

Mr Wall asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 23 September 2014:

(1) What is the total amount of funding allocated to the legal assistance for small business service announced on 4 September 2014.

(2) What communication has taken place to inform small business of this service and what was the cost of this communication.

(3) How many appointments are allocated per business.

(4) How many appointments have been made with the service to date.

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

(1) No Government funding is allocated to the legal assistance for small business service (the Small Business Clinic). The Small Business Clinic is a joint project between the University of Canberra (UC) and the Legal Aid Commission ACT as part of the clinical legal education program. Private legal practitioners provide pro bono assistance to clients. Final year law students provide assistance to the practitioners by conducting research on client matters. The Legal Aid Commission provides administrative support to the Clinic including booking appointments, data entry and reception duties, amounting to approximately 4.5 hours per week, which is absorbed within existing resources.

(2) A media release was circulated by my office on 4 September 2014. The opening of the Clinic also appeared in the 'CityNews' in September 2014. The Law Society and the UC refer to the Clinic on their websites. The Law Society also notified practitioners about volunteering to provide legal advice to the Clinic in their Hearsay publication. The UC has prepared new brochures advertising the Clinic. Referrals to the Clinic are also made directly from the Legal Aid Commission's Helpline. All communication costs have been absorbed within existing resources.

(3) Appointments are not limited per business. However, it is envisaged that particular issues or concerns raised during the initial 30 minute consultation would be addressed at that time. Should the business have a different or additional concern following their initial appointment, they are able to return to the Clinic for further advice.

The aim of the clinic is to put small business owners in contact with experienced lawyers who will provide initial oral advice during the consultation.

(4) As at 2 October 2014, 28 appointments had been made with the Clinic - approximately 6 appointments per week.

Crime—car tyre slashing (Question No 330)

Mrs Jones asked the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, upon notice, on 24 September 2014:


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