Since the Marshall Liberal Government reopened the doors to the Riverland Community Justice Centre in December last year, over 40 legal advice services have been provided out of the office in Berri, as well as outreach services in surrounding areas including Loxton, Cadell and Morgan.
Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman said these numbers prove how much the local Riverland Community relied on this service before the previous Labor Government shut it down.
“The on the ground service at that centre has now been operating for nearly two months, with positive effects for the local community being seen,” Ms Chapman said.
“I am advised the Riverland Community Justice Centre has been well-received by the community, with increased foot traffic to the service since the launch in December.
“There has been an increase in walk-ins to the office, with the prominent signage making the public more aware of the service – again showing the importance of on the ground services.
“Further work is underway to update the legal service website and to establish a direct phone line for the Riverland office, to further enhance access and awareness.
“This information shows a strong need, desire and uptake from the local community in having easily accessible, face-to-face services, particularly in cases of family law and family violence,” Ms Chapman said.
State Member for Chaffey, Tim Whetstone said these increases in services prove just how much this Centre is needed and that residents in his electorate and surrounds will no longer have to conduct these services over the phone or drive all the way to Christies Beach to have a face-to-face meeting.
“The increase in people utilising this service further demonstrates how vital these services are to the people in the Riverland and the Mallee,” Mr Whetstone said.
“The facility is particularly important for issues which are often complex in nature and require face-to-face contact,” Mr Whetstone said.
“Previous cuts by the former Labor Government to local legal services meant residents had to travel hundreds of kilometres to access services in Christies Beach.
“This is another example of the Marshall Liberal Government decentralising services and empowering regional communities by making legal services accessible to those living in country areas.
“We’re proud to have delivered this service to the Riverland and Mallee community, improving access to vital legal services to help navigate legal systems and education about their rights and responsibilities.
“The Riverland Community Justice Centre will play an important role in helping people and those experiencing disadvantage to access legal services.”