Disaster response

Responding to a disaster

When disaster strikes, Community Legal Centres provide urgent assistance to individuals and organisations to address the immediate harm and to stop legal issues escalating. 


Disaster and Climate Justice Working Group

The Federation convenes the Disaster and Climate Justice Working Group, which provides ongoing support to Victorian Community Legal Centres engaged in disaster response and climate justice initiatives. 

The Disaster and Climate Justice Working Group recognises that:

  • Realisation of social justice depends upon healthy eco-systems
  • First Nations traditional owners’ and communities’ voices must be prioritised in climate justice, as sovereignty was never ceded
  • Fundamental injustices within our economic, social and political systems are compounded by disasters, extreme weather and climate change impacts.

The Disaster and Climate Justice Working Group aims to:

  1. Provide a shared exchange for Community Legal Centres that respond to climate change and disasters
  2. Provide updates to Community Legal Centres on developments, trends, issues and challenges
  3. Identify needs and gaps in accessing justice in areas of disaster response and climate justice
  4. Facilitate linkages to other services and groups, and refer to relevant resources
  5. Advocate and secure resources to support and strengthen member and sector capacity
  6. Advise the Federation of Community Legal Centres as a partner of Disaster Legal Help Victoria
  7. Further adapt responses for Community Legal Centres and inform the progress of the Climate Justice Legal Project
  8. Inform the policy, advocacy and law reform agenda of the sector in climate justice, disaster response and community resilience
  9. Build connections and relationships between Community Legal Centres.


Disaster Legal Help Victoria

The Federation is a key partner representing Community Legal Centres in Disaster Legal Help Victoria (DLHV).

Disaster Legal Help Victoria (DLHV) is a partnership between Victorian community, public and private legal service providers. DLHV emerged out of the response to the 2009 bushfires to coordinate and support the legal sector’s response to Victorians affected by disaster. Over the past 11 years, DLHV has responded to a number of disasters across Victoria.

DLHV builds Victorians’ disaster resilience by leading and co-ordinating legal responses and support.

The DLHV partners are:

The DLHV Strategic Framework has five design principles:

  1. Local first
  2. Built on deep preparation
  3. Client-centred
  4. Leveraged with volunteer support
  5. Integrated with other services

See the legal preparedness checklist here

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