Fremantle Legal Aid office to close

Community and Public Sector Union branch assistant secretary Rikki
Community and Public Sector Union branch assistant secretary Rikki

The Queensgate Arcade office has been offering members of the community legal advice and representation over a range of issues for years, but its closure later this year will mean locals needing help will have to go to the Perth office.

The Midland Legal Aid office will also close in June.

Community and Public Sector Union branch assistant secretary Rikki Hendon said the decision to close would have a big impact on people in the area who needed support.

�It will particularly affect those who have serious matters, intellectual and physical disabilities, language barriers and who need more than the support of a duty lawyer on the day,� she said.

�They are moving resources away from where many of the people are and it will reduce the face-to-face interaction with legal aid staff.

�We are worried that many of the disadvantaged clients who are struggling financially will not have the means to get to the office in the centre of Perth.�

In an annual report tabled in Parliament last October, the agency said it faced a number of challenges, but placed its shortfalls on funding issues out of Canberra.

�Western Australia has received the second lowest level of Commonwealth funding on a per capita basis… the reason for the low levels of funding is difficult to understand,� the report said.