Victorian Budget


Community Legal Centres provide a crucial safety net for people in our community who need it most. 

The help that Community Legal Centres provide is critical to many aspects of Victorians’ daily lives, including for those facing eviction and homelessness, incarceration, family breakdown and violence, crippling debts and fines, discrimination, exploitation at work and unfair dismissal. Community Legal Centres are uniquely placed to assist Victorians who are experiencing hardship with pressing legal issues, and often do this by providing tailored wrap-around support. 

The high demand for legal assistance continues to significantly outstrip available resources. Based on Community Legal Centres Australia’s State of the Sector Report, Community Legal Centres are turning away over 1,000 people a day. This unmet demand will continue to escalate as the impacts of disasters, rising living costs and widening inequality continue to be felt.  

Community Legal Centres support those most in need of assistance, who cannot afford private lawyers and do not have access to legal aid. On average, up to 70 per cent of people who access Community Legal Centres have an income of less than $32,000 per year. Community Legal Centres assist people who face additional barriers accessing legal help and support due to their mental health, racial or cultural background, age, disability, LGBTIQ+ status, or geographical remoteness. 

The impacts of unresolved, escalating legal problems on individuals, their communities and government are significant, but can be avoided through ensuring access to community legal assistance.  

This year, in our budget submission, we repeat our call for the Victorian Government to provide a significant investment in funding for Community Legal Centres in Victoria to meet existing need for legal assistance and to address the continued rise in demand brought about by disasters, rising costs and widening inequality. 

Our key asks 

Core funding 

  • An additional boost of funding over four years to strengthen the security of community legal sector funding in Victoria, and to enable the community legal sector to expand to meet high levels of unmet legal need. 

Integrated legal services 

  • Investment in integrated legal services and partnerships with lapsing funding, new integrated legal services, and to scale up proven integrated service models. 

Housing and homelessness 

  • Additional funding to enable Community Legal Centres to provide legal support to residents affected by the Victorian Government’s recent Housing Statement, including surge capacity at the locations impacted by the retirement of public housing.   
  • Additional resourcing for Community Legal Centres to provide legal assistance to people facing eviction to prevent homelessness.  


  • Additional resourcing to enable specialist Community Legal Centres to provide critical legal assistance to people with disability in line with key recommendations of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. 

Mental health 

  • Investment to embed community legal assistance as part of the roll-out of the Local Adult and Older Adult Mental Health and Wellbeing Services. 

Family violence 

  • An additional boost of funding to increase the capacity of Community Legal Centres to provide legal assistance to victim survivors of family violence. 
  • Increasing investment in legal services at the seven new Specialist Family Violence Courts and covering funding shortfalls in the pre-court engagement service.. 
  • Additional investment to further embed community legal services in the Orange Door network by expanding the legal services in the Orange Door pilot to ensure it can occur at three more locations, including a mix of regional and metropolitan areas. 

You can read our 2024-25 Victorian budget submission here.  


Previous budget submissions 


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