07 April 2017

Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann has expressed concern that the Turnbull Governments failure to properly fund Community Legal Services with hurt locals in Ipswich and the Somerset Region.

The New South Wales Liberal Government has highlighted the Turnbull Government’s failure to support the Community Legal sector by picking up the tab for Senator Brandis’ 30 per cent cut in Commonwealth funding for Community Legal Centres for the next two years.

Hot on the heels of a similar announcement by the Tasmanian Government, the only other State or Territory with a Liberal Government, Turnbull and Brandis are now well and truly alone in their disdain for the Community Legal sector.

Mr Neumann said that community legal services played a vital role in his community and were too important not to support.

“Blair is home to The Advocacy and Support Centre (TASC), a fantastic community legal service that goes above and beyond in helping out locals in need," Mr Neumann said.

“Whether it is providing support and advice to those with a disability, low-income families or people experiencing domestic violence, so many people in Ipswich and the Somerset turn to them when they’re down on their luck.

“It’s cruel and insulting that Malcolm Turnbull and George Brandis think that TASC and other community legal services like them aren’t deserving of proper funding."

Mr Neumann said that the NSW State Government’s interjection was the latest sign that these cuts needed to be reversed.

“For almost a year now, this lack of funding has left community legal services and the people that rely on them under pressure.

“When even Liberal Governments are attacking these cuts, it’s clear that this Government has gone too far.

“It’s not good enough for Malcolm Turnbull to simply shift the burden away from his government so that he can refuse to accept responsibility for such an essential service.

“Unfortunately, this Government seems to think that handing the biggest corporations in the country a $50 Billion tax cut is more important than supporting the many people who rely on community legal services to get them through when they’re most in need.”