The COVID-19 health crisis has had wide-ranging financial, economic and social impacts on individuals and communities across Victoria, creating significant areas of legal need while seriously impacting the ability of the community legal sector and broader justice system to meet demand.
The community legal sector has seen a sharp increase in the number of people accessing services and the complexity of legal issues.
Federation of Community Legal Centres Director of Policy and Engagement, Shorna Moore, presented findings from the report, and responded to Government questions at a Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) Inquiry into the Government's response to COVID-19 in May, 2020.
You can view details of the hearing and a transcript of Ms Moore’s responses here.
The Interim report from the hearing is now available, read a copy here.
Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) Inquiry into the Government’s response to COVID-19
More work is needed to ensure Victoria's response to the public health crisis does not unduly affect those in our community who are already facing economic, cultural or social disadvantage.
The sector has had to adapt to changed working environments and service delivery to meet demand as well as government requirements. Coupled with that is the introduction of new laws, and the expectation that communities are across, understand and can abide by those laws with little to no warning.
In particular there is potential for reform and improvement in responses to family violence, residential tenancies, corrections and fines and infringements.
The Federation has outlined its recommendations for the future in its response to the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) Inquiry into the Victorian Government’s response to COVID-19 pandemic.
Read our full submission here.