28 February 2014
(Community Recognition Statement, 27 February 2014, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
I commend the Public Interest Advocacy Centre's Homeless Persons Legal Service for making sure that people without a home get help to sort out legal problems.
I attended the launch of a new clinic at Mission Australia's Surry Hills centre along with the Attorney General. I learned that 350 pro bono lawyers have provided more than 1,300 hours of legal advice worth more than $1.5 million. There are now 11 clinics at The Station, the Matthew Talbot Hostel, the Women and Girls Emergency Centre, Salvation Army Streetlevel Mission, the Wayside Chapel, Edward Eagar Lodge and Vincentian House, taking legal help to where people are connected.
A consumer advisory committee ensures that services, policy and advocacy are based on lived experience. The key matters are debt and tenancy, which are big barriers to people getting off the street and into a home. This work is vital and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre is to be commended for this effective way of ensuring that homeless people can get access to justice.