02 November 2016

The important work undertaken by Rockingham-based community legal centre SCALES was highlighted today with local Member of Federal Parliament Madeleine King and Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus visiting the centre to see first-hand how staff and law student volunteers are helping the local community.

Although dealing with an ever-increasing workload of increasingly complex matters, including domestic violence and homelessness, SCALES remains underfunded suffering three years of funding cuts in a row.

Ms King said SCALES provided help to some of the most vulnerable people in the community, including those fleeing domestic violence, and cutting funding to the service was a disgrace.

“In the coming financial year SCALES will suffer a funding cut of $165,000, which means less assistance for those in our community who need it most,” Ms King said.

“Considering 40 per cent of clients at SCALES have domestic violence as part of their issue, this really is unacceptable.”

Mr Dreyfus said since coming to office, the Abbott-Turnbull Government had cut a combined $52 million from Community Legal Centres, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Centres and Legal Aid services across the country.

“These are the frontline services which help domestic violence victims every day,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“In the past year alone, Community Legal Centres have had to turn away 160,000 people in need because of capacity constraints. And they are facing a further 30 per cent cut on 1 July 2017.”