More people needing our assistance

More people needing our assistance

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Our end-year summary report shows the number of Victorians we assist continues to increase – 100,061 people in the 2018–19 financial year, an increase of six per cent on the previous year.

The quarter four report details the increase in the number of socially and economically disadvantaged Victorians needing our assistance, including:

  • 5% were of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background (up 9% on last year)
  • 23% were from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (up 10% on last year)
  • 10% or were younger than 18 years of age (up 4% on last year)
  • 9% were at risk of homelessness (up 21% on last year)
  • 25% disclosed having a disability or mental illness (up 2% on last year).

We provide legal advice and minor assistance to help people resolve their legal problems as early as possible and, in some circumstances, avoid the need to go to court.

Cameron Hume, Acting Chief Executive Officer, says we have seen an increase in the number of legal advice sessions relating to family law and criminal law matters being conducted by our Legal Help telephone service.

‘Our Legal Help telephone service provided 18,720 legal advice services, an increase of 45 per cent on the same time last year, helping more people with complex problems than in previous years,’ he said.

'Receiving legal advice early is critical as it can avoid issues from escalating.'

We continue to face the challenge of providing increasingly complex legal services and the growing demand for services that is not matched by our level of funding.

‘We are pleased to have ended the financial year with a small operating surplus,' he said.

'However, this is entirely due to the accounting for a three-year funding arrangement from the Legal Services Board for our Digital Legal Aid project. Excluding this item, the underlying result was a small deficit of $0.4 million which was the result of enacting internal savings measures in the second half of the year.

‘We are forecasting significant operating deficits into the future and we are taking active steps to reverse this trend and return to financial sustainability.'

Download the quarter four report 

Download Victoria Legal Aid’s 2018–19 quarter four report and read other quarterly reports.

More information

Read our previous annual reports.

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