Free legal services on offer to flood victims
|| 21 Jan 2011
||Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister
Hundreds of lawyers from across the state will next week begin providing free legal advice to flood-affected Queenslanders trying to get their lives back on track.
Attorney-General Cameron Dick today praised the work of the legal profession and key community groups which had come together to establish Flood Legal Help, a service specifically offered to flood-affected Queenslanders.
“Legal practices large and small, including many from flood-affected areas, are making solicitors available on a pro bono basis to help people affected by the floods,” Mr Dick said.
“Legal practitioners will be available for free consultations for flood victims in communities including Brisbane, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Chinchilla and Emerald.”
Mr Dick said anyone who had been affected by floods could contact Flood Legal Help on 1300 65 11 88 for legal advice over the phone or to arrange a face-to-face consultation.
Alternatively, consultations could be arranged at any of the government’s numerous community recovery centres.
“It is important for people affected to obtain legal advice and information on issues that affect them such as insurance claims, tenancy agreements, employment, credit, debt, fencing and family law,” Mr Dick said.
He said Flood Legal Help was another key way the Queensland Government was responding to the flood crisis.
It is a collaborative project involving:
- Department of Justice and Attorney-General
- Legal Aid Queensland
- Queensland Law Society
- Bar Association of Queensland
- Queensland Association of Independent Legal Services
- Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service
Mr Dick said the statewide response would build on the pro bono services already provided in recent weeks by key legal groups.
“Caxton Legal Centre has already established an outreach service at the Yeronga and Middle Park recovery centres and the Prisoners’ Legal Service will be establishing a clinic at the East Brisbane recovery centre from next week,” he said.
“Solicitors and para-legal officers from Legal Aid Queensland, community legal centres and private solicitors are attending these recovery centres to provide legal information and advice to people affected by the devastating floods.
“The Bar Association of Queensland is also offering the services of its members to provide specialist advice to the volunteer lawyers free of charge.
“Barristers are also generously offering their services free of charge to help mediate disputes arising from the floods.
“The Queensland Law Society is currently working hard to find temporary business accommodation for law firms whose premises have been damaged by the floods, so the firms can continue to serve their clients.
“This has included providing space in its own office to a number of flood-affected firms.
“Thanks to members of the Queensland legal community for volunteering their time and expertise, and for making this emergency legal response a reality for the people of Queensland.
“I am pleased that the Queensland legal community has banded together to provide this much-needed and essential service during such emotional and hard times.”
For more information, contact Flood Legal Help on 1300 65 11 88 or by visiting www.floodlegalhelp.qld.gov.au.
A full list of community recovery centres is available at www.qld.gov.au/floods.