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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 June 2021) . . Page.. 1633 ..


the great work they do in providing services to detainees at the Alexander Maconochie Centre. Canberra Community Law plays an important role in providing access to justice for some of the most vulnerable members of our community. They provide specialist legal services to detainees at AMC. These programs include the women in prison legal employment sessions and the Dhurrawang AMC legal clinic.

The women in prison legal employment sessions provide legal education and advice to women at AMC. This program commenced its pilot in April 2019 and since then over 60 women detainees have sought legal advice from a lawyer. Since its commencement, the program has also run 17 information sessions, which have been attended by over 230 participants. Each session is delivered by a Canberra Community Law staff member and a subject matter expert. Sessions focus on various legal topics such as victim support, child and youth protection services, Centrelink and housing. The program also delivers information sessions on topics raised by the women themselves.

Canberra Community Law also established the Dhurrawang specialist clinic, which is a new specialist outreach service designed to complement the women in prison legal employment sessions. The Dhurrawang specialist clinic focuses on reaching the AMC male detainee population, particularly those who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. The pilot Dhurrawang AMC clinic aims to facilitate early referrals to solicitors who can assist with legal issues and to advise and represent Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander peoples in CCL’s area of expertise.

Getting legal advice early is crucial to supporting detainees at AMC as they navigate the legal system, housing and family arrangements and an array of other issues. Bringing these services to detainees increases the accessibility of legal advice and is hugely beneficial. I recently met with Canberra Community Law, who told me a bit about the varied advice and wraparound services that they provide to detainees, based on assessments of each person’s needs.

I commend them on their work in bringing crucial services and advice to detainees at AMC. Their work is greatly appreciated and valued by many. I support the motion as amended by Mr Rattenbury.

MS LEE (Kurrajong—Leader of the Opposition) (4.22): In closing, my motion is very straightforward. It acknowledges the amazing work of Canberra Community Law. Their pleas, their very public pleas, for certainty of funding, so they can continue to do the work they do for our vulnerable Canberrans, have been publicly documented.

As they are renowned for doing, the Greens have absolutely hijacked the spirit, the wording and the intent of the motion. The Attorney-General’s amendment is a disrespectful response to an organisation that provides a free legal advice and service to some of the most vulnerable members of our community. To change my motion so completely, to escape from and divert any responsibility whatsoever, shows arrogance and a complete lack of care.


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