The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Leader of Government in the Senate
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity
The Hon Senator Stephen Conroy
Joint Media Release
National Broadband boost for Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC today announced the Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre will receive $205,000 to provide legal assistance services and professional training to regional Victoria through the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The project is in partnership with the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre and the Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria and is funded through the National Broadband Network Regional Legal Assistance Program.
Increasing the availability of legal assistance services to residents of regional and remote areas is critical to providing access to justice for all Australians, Mr Dreyfus said.
Through this program, providers can develop innovative ways of using the NBN to enable residents of regional and remote areas to access legal assistance.
The NBN is a game changer and will open up new possibilities in providing better legal services. We are connecting all Australians to the NBN, with no connection cost, because we believe everyone deserves access to fast, reliable, affordable broadband, Mr Conroy said.
While our NBN investment in the legal assistance sector is clear, the Coalition has not committed a single dollar to this important improvement to Australia's justice system.
Under the Coalition policy, people will have to pay up to $5,000 to connect or be left disconnected from Labor's fibre NBN. Millions of families who cant afford up to $5,000 to connect would be cut off from the full benefits of the NBN.
The Coalition will create a digital divide in every suburb and town across Australia, denying access to online services for millions people, including low-paid and disadvantaged Australians, Mr Conroy said.
The Government is committed to improving access to justice, with a total national contribution to legal assistance services of $1.413 billion over the four years from 2013-14. This includes an additional $10.3 million over four years for community legal centres.
More information about the National Broadband Network Regional Legal Assistance Program can be found at http://www.ag.gov.au/nbnlegalassistance
THURSDAY, 13 JUNE 2013