By Julian Porter - Principal Solicitor of Suncoast Community Legal Service.
Finding free legal assistance can be difficult, but there are more than 33 accredited Community Legal Centres located throughout Queensland. With a reduction in funding apportioned to Legal Aid Queensland, there is a move towards ‘self-help’ style legal services.
Suncoast Community Legal Service offers legal advice and referral at seven locations across the Sunshine Coast including:
Suncoast Community Service relies on the generosity of volunteer lawyers who can offer general advice and appropriate referral only.
Maroochydore Legal Aid Queensland runs daytime advice clinics several times a week and there are self-help resources available that include:
Aged and Disability Advocates Australia (ADA) – provide advocacy services to older people and people with disability in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote communities across Queensland. Services are free, confidential and client focused.
Relationships Australia Queensland – provide elder abuse prevention and support services.
Queensland Statewide Tenancy Advice and Referral Service (QSTARS) - handle queries in the area of tenancy and financial first-aid.
Statewide there are specific services catering for various needs, including:
Disability, welfare rights, indigenous people and the environment.
Other legal services include Financial Counselling Services that can help those in debt.
And Lawright, (formerly QPILCH) provides ‘self-representation services’ in various courts and tribunals.
If you would like assistance travelling to a legal appointment, please contact the Suncare Customer Service Centre on 1800 786 227 to arrange a return trip.