The Andrews Labor Government today announced $1.6 million for eight Health Justice Partnerships across the state which will help vulnerable Victorians have better access to justice.
The Labor Government’s funding announcement today will see each partnership receive $200,000 so they can continue until 2020.
Health Justice Partnerships work by adding lawyers from community legal centres to healthcare teams. By operating out of non-traditional legal settings, the partnerships improve the responsiveness and effectiveness of both legal and health professionals in meeting the needs of vulnerable Victorians.
The partnerships were introduced after evidence showed people on low incomes experiencing legal issues were more likely to talk to a trusted heath professional than a lawyer. Health issues and legal difficulties are also often closely related.
In 2016, the Royal Commission into Family Violence and the Access to Justice Review both recognised the value of integrated partnerships in maximising the reach of legal assistance to the most vulnerable.
Victoria currently has more Health Justice Partnerships than any other state or territory in Australia, making it the leading jurisdiction in this area of service.
The funding announced today will support partnerships with the Hume Riverina Community Legal Service, Inner Melbourne Community Legal, InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence, Justice Connect Seniors Law, and Central Highlands, Goulburn Valley, Loddon Campaspe, and Eastern community legal centres.
Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula
“We’re proud to support the continuation of these partnerships because they help improve the health and justice outcomes for some of the most vulnerable in our community.”
“Our investment supports the findings of the Royal Commission into Family Violence and the Access to Justice Review, both of which recognised the importance of integrated legal assistance services.”