Victorians in the state’s north will have improved access to legal support after the Andrews Labor Government unveiled a new Victoria Legal Aid office in Shepparton.
Attorney-General Martin Pakula officially opened the new office which has modern, custom-designed spaces with an open-plan layout, discreet wellbeing areas, and two conference rooms for private consultations with clients.
The office accommodates 11 staff, including seven lawyers and four support staff with specialist skills in criminal and family law, including family violence and child protection matters.
Security has also been upgraded to include CCTV cameras and alarms to improve the safety of staff and clients.
The staff currently provide assistance to people across 12 local government areas, with a total population of almost 250,000. Lawyers also provide duty lawyer services to courts located throughout the Hume region including Shepparton, Seymour, Cobram, Wangaratta, Wodonga, Corryong, Mansfield, Myrtleford and Benalla.
The staff moved from the previous location on High Street to the refurbished office on Wyndham Street in October this year.
The new office is also located near the new $73 million Shepparton Law Court which is currently under construction. The new court is due to be completed by the end of 2017.
Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula
“This new office will ensure that VLA staff can continue to provide vital legal advice and support to those who need it most.”
“It will allow staff and clients to work together in an environment that is safe, modern and specifically designed for their needs.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes
“Every 30 minutes Victoria Legal Aid staff receive requests for help and deliver advice to some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”
“This new office will help VLA to meet the needs of our growing region and continue to deliver critical legal services.”