COVID-19 and Bushfire legal assistance funding
COVID-19 legal assistance funding
COVID-19 has resulted in challenges for many Australians, with the potential of facing sudden unemployment, debts, family violence or other legal issues.
The Australian Government is providing separate, additional funding of more than $63.3 million for the legal assistance sector to help address the impact of COVID-19. This includes:
- $49.8 million over the two years 2019-20 to 2020-21, for additional frontline legal services, such as legal advice or representation, with 40 per cent to be used for matters involving domestic violence, and
- $13.5 million for 2019-20, for IT costs to support the sector’s transition to delivering assistance virtually and online.
Recipients of the funding includes Legal Aid Commissions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, Community Legal Centres and Family Violence Prevention Legal Services.
Funding for Family Prevention Legal Service is being administered by the National Indigenous Australians Agency.
Bushfire legal assistance funding
The Australian Government provided $8.745 million for legal assistance services to assist with bushfire response and recovery. This funding has been targeted to those areas most severely affected by the bushfires within New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.
Funding was distributed by the states and territories to legal aid commissions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services and community legal centres. Funding was used to provide assistance to individuals and small business and primary producers.