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Community legal centres are welcoming funding of $55 million from the Federal Government which will target family law and family violence services.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said $39 million would be provided nationally over the next three years to Community Legal Centres and a further $16 million to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services.

“Gippsland and Latrobe Valley has an unacceptably high rate of family violence and legal support is needed to help people at a vulnerable time in their lives,” Mr Chester said.

“I’ve met with several local service providers who advise me the demand for community legal services is increasing rapidly.”

“This funding will ensure that important legal services continue to be provided across Gippsland while at the same time, we must keep working to eliminate violence against women and children in our community.”

Anglicare Victoria’s Regional Director in Gippsland Jane Anderson said that Gippsland Community Legal Services had seen a 500% increase in demand in the 2015/16 year from the 2014/15 year, with 70% of clients being affected in the area of family violence and family law.

“This announcement will mean that Gippsland Community Legal Services will be able to continue to provide legal assistance to those most vulnerable families who are experiencing family violence,” Ms Anderson said.

A record $1.7 billion is now going to the legal services sector over five years to 2020, comprising Legal Aid Commissions, Community Legal Centres and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services.

The funding allocation will be finalised with the states and territories under the National Partnership Agreement.

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