On 3 November 2016, Tim Hammond MP, Federal Member for Perth, Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs and Shadow Minister Assisting for Resources and the Hon. Mark Dreyfus QC MP, Shadow Attorney General, Shadow Minister for National Security and Deputy Manager of Opposition Business visited CCLSWA.
Mr Hammond and Mr Dreyfus spoke with Centre Manager Charles Brown, Principal Solicitor Gemma Mitchell, and solicitors Roberta Grealish and Mitchell Coles about the work that CCLSWA does. We also discussed the impact that looming funding cuts will have on the centre and the community legal sector as a whole. Charles and Gemma detailed the impact of the funding cuts on CCLSWA, which may include a reduction in the number of staff, which will result in a reduction in the number of volunteers we will be able to utilise. This directly translates to a reduction in the number of clients we are able to assist. The effect this will have on the community is overwhelming.
Mr Dreyfus acknowledged the importance of CCLSWA to the community in both metropolitan and regional Western Australia, and understood that the sector is unable to make up for the loss of paid staff by utilising more volunteers, due to supervision requirements.
Mr Hammond, who is a former chairperson of the CCLSWA management committee, was particularly interested to hear about the consumer protection element of our work.
Photo (L-R): Mitchell Coles, Roberta Grealish, Charles Brown, Mark Dreyfus MP, Tim Hammond MP and Gemma Mitchell.