Growth in demand continues to climb

Growth in demand continues to climb

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Victoria Legal Aid continues to assist more and more Victorians navigate the justice system. 

The 2018–19 Quarter three report, examining the first three quarters of operations from 1July 2018 to 31 March 2019, shows we have assisted 80,147 unique clients, an increase of nine per cent on the same time last year.

Due to the strong demand for our services, we expect to help over 100,000 people this financial year, an increase of 10 per cent. 

Our legal advice and minor assistance services are aimed at intervening early to help people resolve their legal problems avoiding the need to go to court. By the end of 2018–19, we expect a 16 per cent increase in these services, or more than 6,600 additional services for the year. This is largely due to an increase in advice relating to family violence, which has seen an increase of over 2,000 additional services when compared to the same time last year.

At the end of the financial year, we expect the number of grants of legal assistance to have risen by six per cent and the number of duty lawyer services to increase by eight per cent. The growth in these areas can be attributed to summary crime, such as the bail legislation changes and increased demand in family violence matters as well as the ongoing increase in demand for child protection legal help.

Louise Glanville, Chief Executive Officer, says this growth is driving significant operating deficits.

‘This is the third financial year in a row we will run at a deficit. Simply, demand for our services exceeds the resources we have to deliver them,’ she said.

‘This pattern of deficits and increasing demand for our services is affected by population growth, changes in legislation and changes to other parts of the justice system, such as additional police and child protection officers.’

This is the first time we have published our Quarter three report. As recommended in the Access to Justice Review, we report at the end of each quarter through the financial year. The reports set out our financial and service delivery performance, as well as a projection for the remainder of the year.

Download the 2018–19 Quarter three report

Download Victoria Legal Aid’s 2018–19 quarter three report.

More information

Read previous midyear and annual reports on our website.

 

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