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Petition to Commonwealth Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus KC MP: Fund Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Legal Services now

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  • Miranda from NSW signed 17 days ago
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1,810 have already signed.

Let's get to 1,500

Update: Thank you for helping us reach 1,000 signatures! In light of the incredible support we've received, we have increased our goal to 1,500 signatures. Please keep spreading the word!

Dear Attorney-General,

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS) are calling for emergency funding from the Commonwealth to prevent imminent service freezes across the country and ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to have access to culturally safe legal representation and support.

If these critical services are frozen, the result will be devastating: more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in custody, more families being torn apart by child removal and family violence, more children in prison and more intergenerational trauma.

I call on the Federal Government to immediately implement a $250 million emergency funding package to maintain current services which consists of:

  • $54 million ‘ATSILS Workforce Continuity Fund’ to be delivered over the next six months to immediately fund additional external support where ATSILS lawyers are unable to reach clients and to start recruitment for new permanent staff
  • Additional $196 million over FY2023-24 & FY24-25 which is necessary simply to maintain current levels of service and prevent freezes in certain locations.

I support the Federal Government in making an investment in services that work instead of letting these vital services collapse. I urge you to demonstrate your commitment to listening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices.

The time to act is now.


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