Legal assistance across Australia will receive a $2 billion boost under a new partnership between governments, Attorney General Christian Porter has announced.
The National Legal Assistance Partnership 2020-25 (NLAP) “will provide a significant boost to legal services available to vulnerable Australians, including people affected by domestic violence” a statement from the Attorney General.
It builds on the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services 2015-20.
The extra money is part of a five-year deal struck on Tuesday and includes the restoration of $151 million in legal aid funding that had previously been removed, Christian Porter said.
“The new $2 billion includes additional funding of $248 million over five years. This includes the permanent restoration of $151 million in legal assistance funding that would have been stripped from the legal assistance sector based on decisions of former, consecutive governments,” Mr Porter said.
In addition, the NLAP will improve coordination and flexibility across governments and the sector to keep services in reach of people who need legal assistance, a statement from the Attorney-General’s Department said.
In total, $2 billion will be split between Legal Aid Commissions, community legal centres, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services, domestic violence and health justice services, and family advocacy and support services.It is the first time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services have been included in the national funding partnership.