South Australians living in the South East and the Riverland seeking legal advice and assistance should now call the Legal Services Commission’s Legal Helpline on 1300 366 424, under reforms to the provision of community legal services.
The Legal Helpline provides any South Australian with free legal information. Along with free legal advice, the Legal Services Commission now assesses whether people meet the criteria for free legal services, and coordinate triage and referral of people to appropriate services.
The service a person is referred to may be one that is based in their local region, or a state-wide service with a specialised focus that will best meet their need.
While the Legal Services Commission’s Helpline is the designated first point of contact for any South Australian seeking legal advice through community legal services, all Community Legal Centres will be adopting a ‘no wrong door’ approach.
This means that anyone who needs help – regardless of which services they approach – will be directed to the most appropriate service for their needs.
In the South East and Riverland, community legal services on the ground will be offered by a new service provider, the Southern Community Justice Centre.
Current clients with matters that can be resolved prior to July 1 should expect little disruption to their service.
Those clients with matters expected to extend beyond July 1 will receive written information from their current service provider, advising of the changes and the options available to them – including having their matter transferred to the Southern Community Justice Centre.
These changes are part of the transition to the new model for community legal services which was designed following an independent review and extensive consultation with the sector.
The new model is designed to make it easier for people to access legal information and advice no matter where they live.