Windsor Community Legal Centre happy but laments unmet demand for services

State government funding will only go so far, says a  Western Sydney Community Legal Centre representative. Picture: Darren Pateman
State government funding will only go so far, says a Western Sydney Community Legal Centre representative. Picture: Darren Pateman

WESTERN Sydney Community Legal Centre’s Jill Gientzotis has welcomed state government funding but it would only go so far and not meet the current demand for services.

The Western Sydney CLC, which includes an office at Windsor, was looking down the barrel of a federal government funding cut, to come into place on July 1.

The federal government cut will still go ahead, however, the state government has stepped in and said it will make sure no CLC across the state is worse off than before.

CLCs provide free legal support to people who ordinarily could not afford it. The advice, for the most part, covers family law matters, tenancy and financial issues.

Ms Gientzotis said she was pleased the state government had stepped in.

“The Western Sydney Community Legal Centre welcomes the decision of Mark Speakman to make up the shortfall of funding to Community Legal Centres in NSW,” she said.

“The new funding arrangements require us to do more with less and the Attorney General’s support creates a breathing space for us to properly plan and develop our services in a very new funding environment.”

However, Ms Gientzotis said the reality of the situation was there was a huge demand for the services offered by CLCs, and regardless of where the funding came from, the demand would still be unmet.

“It is also important to recognise that there remains a substantial unmet demand in the community, which we will struggle to address while always aiming to grow our services by targeting those most in need,” she said.

“Further, we call upon the Federal attorney general to restore funding across Australia, taking the burden off already struggling struggling Community Legal Centres across the nation.”