Windsor Community Legal Centre ensured funding by state government

The state government has stepped in to fill a funding void left by the federal government for community legal centres. Picture: Jessica Shapiro
The state government has stepped in to fill a funding void left by the federal government for community legal centres. Picture: Jessica Shapiro

THE Windsor Community Legal Centre will not be worse off, thanks to the state government stepping in to fill a funding void left by the federal government.

The Western Sydney Community Legal Centre, which has one of its three offices in Windsor, will have some but not all federal government funds cut off from July 1.

The cut would likely have forced community legal centres, including Windsor, to offer reduced services according to Jill Gientzotis, who works for Western Sydney Community Legal Centre.

However, the state government has stepped in, with Member for Hawkesbury and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet declaring Windsor will not be worse off than before.

“The NSW Government has stepped in to ensure total statewide funding for CLCs does not fall in the next two years,” he said.

“This includes guaranteeing for each individual CLC that it will not be worse off financially next financial year. The Western Sydney CLC can continue its good work for the people of Hawkesbury.”

Windsor’s CLC provides a number of free legal services to disadvantaged people, including dealing with family law matters, tenancy and financial issues.

The state government has announced it will provide over $6 million in funding for all CLCs across New South Wales over the next two years.

In the 2016-17 financial year, the state government provided CLCs with $6.4 million in funding, which has been renewed until the 2018-19FY.

Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman was critical of the federal government’s decision to cut some of the funding for CLCs.

Ms Templeman has welcomed the state government’s move to make up the funding deficit.

“I congratulate the state government for stepping up to support the desperate need in the sector, to ensure continued access to legal advice for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community,” she said.

“When even Liberal state governments call out Malcolm Turnbull’s failures, you know his cuts have gone too far.

"It's time for the Federal Government to step up and fulfil its own obligations to properly fund community legal centres, rather than forcing others to fill the void."

The Gazette has contacted Ms Gientzotis for comment.