From 1 July 2017, the Legal Services Commission will act as the first point of contact for South Australians seeking legal services, under reforms announced by the state government.
The new model for community legal services has been designed following an independent review and extensive consultation with the sector. It aims to deliver better value for money, mitigate the impact of any funding cuts, and improve the administration of legal services to the community.
Basic legal information will be more accessible online, and there will be an increase in call centre staff at the Legal Services Commission to ensure anyone can get simple legal information on the phone.
The Legal Services Commission will be the first point of contact for South Australians seeking community legal services and advice, and will refer matters to the most appropriate service as required.
All community legal services will continue their ‘no wrong door’ policy – ensuring that anyone who seeks help, regardless of which service they approach, will be directed to the service most appropriate for their needs.
From July 1 2017, generalist community legal services will be offered in the following way:
- Region 1 (Adelaide Central & Hills) will be provided by Uniting Communities
- Region 2 (Adelaide South) will be provided by Southern Community Justice Centre
- Region 3 (Adelaide West) will be provided by Westside Lawyers
- Region 4 (Adelaide North) will be provided by Northern Community Legal Centre
- Region 5 (SA Southern, South East & Riverland) will be provided by Southern Community Justice Centre
- Region 6 (SA Mid-North & Outback) will be provided by Westside Lawyers.
From July 1 2017, specialist state-wide community legal services will be offered in the following way:
- Women’s Legal Services will be provided by the Women’s Legal Service SA
- Welfare Rights Services will be provided by Uniting Communities
- Mediation Services will be provided by Uniting Communities.