Quarterly service and finance reports
Priority project updates
New service for families in the Children’s Court
On 1 January 2019, Legal Aid WA introduced grants of legal aid for families in the protection and care list at the Children’s Court. Our guidelines provide for all parents, who meet our means test, to receive aid. That aid is for advice, investigation and negotiation with the Department of Communities, and representation at the next court date. The guidelines provide that Legal Aid WA will extend aid beyond the next court date where the case has reasonable prospects of success.
More help for people experiencing mortgage hardship
In March, Legal Aid WA expanded its mortgage hardship service in response to record numbers of personal bankruptcies. We’re taking the law to where it is needed, and our lawyers are now providing outreach services in high-debt locations including Midland, Merriwa and Baldivis. Our lawyers provide free, specialist legal advice and help. In providing this service, Legal Aid WA works closely with financial counsellors to provide a joined-up service.
New chat service
In mid-February, Legal Aid WA launched a new online legal chat service. This new service will improve access to justice by giving people another way to get legal information – through live online chat. People browsing our website now see a balloon that invites them to chat with one of our operators. This new service is a great help to people who work in open plan and don’t have the privacy to discuss sensitive legal matters over the phone.
The Australian Government has announced that it will extend funding for Legal Aid WA’s integrated duty lawyer and family violence support service. This court-based service involves a duty lawyer working with a social worker to help self-represented litigants affected by family violence. The Government had funded this service as a pilot program but, after a successful evaluation, have extended funding to 30 June 2022.
At the end of March 2019, Legal Aid WA was tracking $1,386,195 ahead of the budget set by the Commission after adjusting for the expected receipt of both State and Commonwealth supplementary funding.
Year-to-date March 2019
Commonwealth funding: $31,849,205
State funding: $38,736,540
Other income: $3,252,206
Total revenue: $73,837,951
Total expenditure: $64,219,644
* The operating surplus of $9,618,307 at 31 March 2019 is due to the receipt of Commonwealth funding 6 months in advance.
Note: These are management figures and have not been audited.