Victorians in the Central Highlands will now have improved access to justice after the Andrews Labor Government unveiled a new Victoria Legal Aid office to service the region.
Attorney-General Jill Hennessy officially opened the new open-plan office at a virtual ceremony, which is located in Market Street in Ballarat.
The office will initially support 22 staff with a wide range of expertise in areas such as family violence, family law and child protection.
The accessible design of the new office has also enabled Victoria Legal Aid to resume critical case conferences and will allow for the future support of the Drug Court.
Victoria Legal Aid has continued to deliver essential legal assistance during coronavirus (COVID-19) and has rapidly shifted to online models in order to help slow the spread of the virus.
Access to justice is more important than ever during coronavirus (COVID-19), which is why in May the government announced $17.5 million in additional funding for frontline legal assistance services.
This funding has been allocated to areas most in need and is vital to supporting Victorians who have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) to get back on their feet.
People who are unemployed or experiencing insecure housing are more likely to experience other legal issues, which is why it is important people can access legal information and advice early on.
The Ballarat office highlights the importance of Victoria Legal Aid’s regional presence and demonstrates the significance of these services in providing access to justice for all Victorians.
As noted by Attorney-General Jill Hennessy
“Victoria Legal Aid continues to deliver quality services to Victorians in these challenging and uncertain times – these services are crucial to supporting our most vulnerable Victorians.”
“This new office will help Victoria Legal Aid to meet the needs of the growing region and continue to deliver critical legal services.”
As stated by Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison
“There services support some of the most vulnerable people in our community, this new office will give its employees and locals the support and resources they need.”
As stated by Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle
“Community legal services help people with guidance and support when they need it – this new office will assist the community right across our growing region.”