New South Wales Family and community minister Brad Hazzard has announced $825,000 in funding for not-for-profit legal organisation Justice Connect.
The Department of Family and Community Services will provide $275,000 a year for three years.
“This funding will allow Justice Connect to provide around 200,000 not-for-profit community groups in NSW with free, online, up-to-date legal information; low cost training and a free telephone inquiry service,” Hazzard said.
Justice Connect has around 5,000 pro bono lawyers in NSW. The organisation works with not-for-profits and aims to grow pro bono culture and advocate for policy reform.
“In funding this service the Government is helping the helpers by freeing up the capacity of organisations to provide vital support and services to vulnerable and disadvantaged people in NSW,” Justice Connect CEO Fiona McLeay said.
“A Deloitte Access Economics Report showed that our program delivers a contribution of around $2.4 million to the NSW economy. We thank Minister Hazzard and the NSW Government for this vital funding, which will increase our contribution further.”
The service has seen a 21% increase in the number of inquiries they receive and a 163% increase in the amount of advice provided by telephone to not-for-profits since 2013-14.
“Every day we see great organisations, delivering vital community services, spending their time navigating what can be a complicated legal landscape,” said Juanita Pope, director of Not-for-profit Law.
“By providing accessible, tailored legal help to these groups, we help the helpers. This work that the government has funded lets community groups focus on doing their real job, whether that’s providing refuge for women and children fleeing family violence, caring for those with a disability, managing community-based housing, responding to emergencies or protecting the environment."