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Support for victims of family violence at Mildura Magistrates' Court

THE Murray Mallee Community Legal Service is providing a weekly duty lawyer service at the Mildura Magistrates’ Court to support people with Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO) and Stalking Intervention Orders (SIO).

The Intervention Order Support Service (IOSS) runs at the court house in Deakin Avenue, every Monday. The duty solicitor provides people whose matters are listed for court that day with legal advice, information and representation.

The aim of the IOSS is to make the court process less daunting for victims of family violence. People wanting to see a duty solicitor in relation to an FVIO and SIO should speak to the court registrar.

For other legal matters, the MMCLS offers face to face appointments with a solicitor, including after hours appointments, at its office located at Mallee Family Care, 122 Ninth Street, Mildura.

The MMCLS offers free, confidential legal advice, information, referral and case work to people from low socio-economic backgrounds including youth, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disabilities, and people living in isolated rural communities.

For more information about the MMCLS, the IOSS and legal appointments please telephone 5023 5966 or 1800 243 002, or visit www.communitylaw.org.au/murraymallee.


Support for victims of family violence at the Robinvale Magistrates' Court

THE Murray Mallee Community Legal Service is providing a monthly duty lawyer service at the Robinvale Magistrates’ Court to support people with Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO) and Stalking Intervention Orders (SIO).

The Intervention Order Support Service (IOSS) will run at the courthouse, in George Street, Robinvale, on the fourth Tuesday of the month. The duty solicitor can provide people whose matters are listed for court that day with legal advice, information and representation.

The aim of the IOSS is to make the court process less daunting for victims of family violence. People wanting to see a duty solicitor in relation to an FVIO and SIO should speak to the court registrar.

For other legal matters, the MMCLS runs an outreach service through face to face appointments with a solicitor at the Robinvale office of Mallee Family Care office, 33 Herbert Street, also on the fourth Tuesday of the month.

The MMCLS offers free, confidential legal advice, information, referral and casework to people from low socio-economic backgrounds including youth, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disabilities and people living in isolated rural communities.

For more information about the MMCLS, the IOSS and Robinvale legal appointments please telephone 5023 5966 or 1800 243 002, or visit www.communitylaw.org.au/murraymallee.


Legal outreach available in Swan Hill

THE Murray Mallee Community Legal Service (MMCLS) is running an outreach legal service through face to face appointments with a solicitor at the Swan Hill office of Mallee Family Care, 229 Beveridge Street, on a monthly basis.

The MMCLS offers free, confidential legal advice, information, referral and casework to people from low socio-economic backgrounds including youth, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disabilities and people living in isolated rural communities. It is funded by the Commonwealth and state governments.

For more information about the MMCLS and Swan Hill legal appointments please telephone 5023 5966 or 1800 243 002, or visit www.communitylaw.org.au/murraymallee.


Free legal advice in Dareton and Wentworth

THE Murray Mallee Community Legal Service (MMCLS) is running an outreach service through face to face appointments with a solicitor in Dareton and Wentworth.

Appointments at Dareton are available twice a month and on a monthly basis in Wentworth funded by the Commonwealth and NSW Legal Aid’s Regional Outreach Clinic Program.

MMCLS principal solicitor Tony Masterson said the service provided free, confidential legal advice, information, referral and casework to people from low socio-economic backgrounds including youth, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disabilities and those living in isolated rural communities.

“We want to ensure that people who live in the Murray Mallee region, and that extends into New South wales, have access to legal information, advice and assistance to understand the legal system and to feel empowered to resolve their legal issue,” Mr Masterson, who grew up near Wentworth, said.

 “We can help with a range of legal matters from family law, credit and debt, welfare rights and criminal matters to consumer problems.”

For more information about the MMCLS and the Wentworth or Dareton legal appointments please telephone 5023 5966 or 1800 243 002, or visit www.communitylaw.org.au/murraymallee.


Legal help a phone call away

RESIDENTS in Balranald, Ouyen, Sea Lake and Charlton can access the Murray Mallee Community Legal Service (MMCLS) through its telephone advice service.

Funded by the Commonwealth, and Victorian and New South Wales governments, the MMCLS is one of more than 100 community legal services operating across the country. As a generalist centre, the MMCLS offers free and confidential legal advice, information, referral and case work on a range of legal matters including family law, criminal matters, welfare rights, equal opportunity, traffic offences, credit and debt, and consumer problems.

The MMCLS aims to help people from low socio-economic backgrounds including youth, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disabilities, and people living in isolated rural communities.

To access the MMCLS through its telephone advice service call 5023 5966 or 1800 243 002 to make an appointment.


Sunraysia students given an insight into the world of forensic science

Murray Mallee Community Legal Service (MMCLS) solicitor Kim Hubbard brought the world of forensic science to Sunraysia school students as part of the Victoria Law Foundation’s Law Talks in Mildura late last month.

Ms Hubbard’s talk, Forensic Science and the Criminal Justice System, was one of several delivered over two days to years 11 and 12 students from across the district at Red Cliffs Secondary College, Red Cliffs. She has a university qualification in both law and forensic science, an uncommon yet complementary combination.

In her presentations, Ms Hubbard exposed the truth behind popular TV shows, including CSI, explaining the forensic techniques used by the real forensic investigators to help solve crimes. Her talk also covered the role of a forensic investigator in the presentation of evidence at trial and the rules of evidence surrounding criminal matters.

She also spoke about the criminal law process more generally, for example  the burden of proof.

The students were impressed with Ms Hubbard’s presentation which also contained case studies explaining how, when correct forensic procedure is not followed, things can go terribly wrong and innocent people can be put behind bars.

The MMCLS is a program managed by Mallee Family Care offering free, confidential legal advice, information, referral and case work. It also provides legal education and engages in law reform activities. The MMCLS aims to assist people from low socio-economic backgrounds and in particular young people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disabilities and people living in isolated rural communities.

For more information about the MMCLS or to make a free appointment with a solicitor, telephone 5023 5966 or 1800 243 002.

 


MMCLS links in with Indigenous Legal Needs Project

The Murray Mallee Community Legal Service (MMCLS) recently participated in a national research project into the civil and family law needs of indigenous Australians.

The Indigenous Legal Needs Project is based at The Cairns Institute, James Cook University and is funded for three years by the Australian Research Council through a Linkage Project, with research to be undertaken in collaboration with 12 project partners, including legal and academic institutions.

The project is said to be the first comprehensive analysis of indigenous civil and family law needs undertaken in Australia. It is envisaged the research will identify and analyse the legal needs of indigenous communities in non-criminal legal areas such as discrimination, consumer matters, credit and debt, child protection, education, employment, health, housing, and wills and estates.

 “The research is directed towards identifying priority areas of legal need and is intended to inform successful models of legal service delivery,” a spokesperson for the study said.

“Improved responses will deliver better access to justice, enhanced compliance with human rights norms and improved social justice outcomes for Indigenous people.”

Mildura, Robinvale and Swan Hill were among 32 “project sites” chosen because they represented indigenous communities in either rural, regional, urban or remote areas.

The project team visited the local area in May to gather information about service provision to, and needs arising within the selected communities in relation to civil and family law.

The information was gathered through the participation of Indigenous community members in focus groups held at the sites and interviews help with staff from relevant stakeholder organisations servicing these communities.

For more information about this project visit www.jcu.edu.au/ilnp/index.htm.

 


National Law Week 2012 - Mildura events

Date

Event

May 14 to 20

Static Display at Mildura Library

Mildura Library will play host to a display about the MMCLS and the services it offers to the public . The theme of the display is about access to justice and how the MMCLS provides an avenue for community members to access justice when needed.

Monday, May 14, to

Wednesday, May 16

Static Display at Centro

The Murray Mallee Community Legal Service (MMCLS) team will be on hand to provide legal information to the public as part of National Law Week celebrations at Mildura Centro on Monday, May 14, Tuesday, May 15, and Wednesday, May 16. A static display will be set up just outside the food court where solicitors will provide information to the public regarding the role and function of the service. Printed material and brochures will also be made available regarding a range of law.

 

Tuesday, May 15,

noon to 1pm

Youth and the Law talk at TAFE – SuniTAFE Auditorium, opposite The Hub. Benetook Avenue, Mildura

Speakers: Mark Bland, Department of Justice; Leigh Anderson, Maloney Anderson Legal; Sarah Klarich, Murray Mallee Community Legal Service

Infringements, employment rights and debt problems will be the focus of a youth information session at the SuniTAFE Auditorium on Tuesday, May 15, from noon to 1pm. Speakers will explain infringements and fines, employment law and workers rights, and There will be information about credit and debt.

 

 

Tuesday, May 15, 5pm to 6pm

Elder Abuse forum for local lawyers, Mallee Family Care Boardroom

Speaker: Tabitha O'Shea, Senior Rights Victoria

Legal practitioners are invited to an information session providing an overview of elder abuse, risks, prevention and indicators. The session will also include information on a new guide Assets for Care, which will assist lawyers when working with older clients, who are being financially abused. The session will be presented by Senior Rights Victoria (SRV) solicitor Tabitha O’Shea at the invitation of the Murray Mallee Community Legal Service (MMCLS). RSVP to Sarah Klarich 5023 5966 to book a place.

Wednesday, May 16, 9.30am to 11am

Elder Abuse forum for the public and people working with the elderly in Sunraysia, Masonic Centre, 15th Street Irymple

Speakers: Tabitha O'Shea, Senior Rights Victoria; Paul Avery, Holcroft Avery Lawyers

The Sunraysia community is invited to a free information session providing an overview of elder abuse, risks, prevention, and Wills and Powers of Attorney. The session will be presented by Senior Rights Victoria (SRV) solicitor Tabitha O’Shea and Mildura-based Holcroft Avery Lawyers partner Paul Avery at the invitation of the Murray Mallee Community Legal Service (MMCLS). RSVP to Sarah Klarich on 5023 5966 to reserve a place

 

Wednesday, May 16, 1pm to 2pm

It’s not just Super – it’s your future, Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities council, Madden Avenue, Mildura

Speaker: Norm McMurray, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

A free information session for anyone who has a superannuation policy – or more than one – to be presented by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers’ Norm McMurray. Topics will include getting your super together, what happens when you need to make a claim and nomination of beneficiaries. RSVP to Sarah Klarich to reserve a place, 5023 5966

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, May 16, 7.30pm to 9pm

Insurance Seminar, Brian Grogan Lecture Theatre, La Trobe University, Mildura Campus

Speaker: John Berrill, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

What level of coverage is right? What insurance benefits are there? How do I make a claim or lodge a complaint against an insurance company?

The Murray Mallee Community Legal Service has invited Maurice Blackburn principal John Berrill to speak about the issue of insurance and to demystify questions around levels of coverage, insurance benefits, and the claims and complaints process. Mr Berrill is the head of the largest national plaintiff Superannuation and Insurance Claims practice in Australia. In times of floods, storms and natural disasters, he is a key go-to person regarding the issues people face around making successful insurance claims and his team is renowned for fighting to secure insurance compensation for people affected by natural disasters. This is a rare opportunity for Sunraysia residents to learn more about their rights when it comes to insurance and gain skills to assist them to negotiate better with insurance companies. To book a place please RSVP to Sarah Klarich, 5023 5966

Thursday, May 17

Student Talk at Coomealla High School, Dareton

Cyber bullying, “sexting”  and healthy relationships will be the focus of a talk by Murray Mallee Community Legal Service lawyers to Coomealla High School students. The legal staff will provide year 10 and 11 students information about the law relating to these serious issues. In particular, bullying will be defined and the law surrounding bullying and cyber bullying explained. Sexting, the dangers of sexting and the legal implications will also be addressed. Information will also be provided about what is considered a healthy relationship and the age of consent.

 

Thursday, May 17, 9am to 11am

Consumer Law Matters talk at Vidovic House, Mildura

Speaker: Sarah Klarich, Murray Mallee Community Legal Service

MMCLS principal Tony Masterson will give a talk to staff at Vidovic House on unsolicited consumer agreements, rent to buy schemes and pay day lending. This information will help staff working with their most vulnerable clients to avoid these too good to be true offers.

 

Friday, May 18

Student Talk at Robinvale Secondary College, Robinvale

Cyber bullying, “sexting”  and healthy relationships will be the focus of a talk by Murray Mallee Community Legal Service lawyers to Robinvale Secondary College students. The legal staff will provide students information about the law relating to these serious issues. In particular, bullying will be defined and the law surrounding bullying and cyber bullying explained. Sexting, the dangers of sexting and the legal implications will also be addressed. Information will also be provided about what is considered a healthy relationship and the age of consent.

 


 Insurance & You – Law Week in Sunraysia 2012

What level of coverage is right? What insurance benefits are there? How do I make a claim or lodge a complaint against an insurance company?

Record rainfall early last year brought home to Sunraysia the reality of severe weather conditions and the resulting damage. Houses and business premises were flooded, and livelihoods lost as growers were forced off the land by the stagnating flood water. The experience has left many in the district scratching their heads about insurance.

As part of National Law Week Activities, the Murray Mallee Community Legal Service has invited Maurice Blackburn principal John Berrill to speak about the issue of insurance and to demystify questions around levels of coverage, insurance benefits, and the claims and complaints process.

Mr Berrill is the head of the largest national plaintiff Superannuation and Insurance Claims practice in Australia. In times of floods, storms and natural disasters, he is a key go-to person regarding the issues people face around making successful insurance claims and his team is renowned for fighting to secure insurance compensation for people affected by natural disasters.

Mr Berrill was a member of the three-person Federal Government's National Disaster Insurance Review Panel.  He is on the Travel Compensation Fund Board and has served as a consumer representative on the Financial Industry Complaints Service Panel and Board. A founding member of the HIV/Aids Legal Centre, Mr Berrill is also a member of the Consumers Federation of Australia, the Chronic Illness Alliance and the Australian Lawyers Alliance.

Mr Berrill provides legal advice to many disability support groups, social work departments, unions and consumer groups, and acts for workers and people with chronic illnesses and disabilities against insurance companies and superannuation funds.

This is a rare opportunity for Sunraysia residents to learn more about their rights when it comes to insurance and gain skills to assist them to negotiate better with insurance companies.

When:                  Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 7.30pm to 9pm

Where:                Brian Grogan Lecture Theatre, La Trobe University Mildura Campus, 471 Benetook Avenue, Mildura

RSVP:                    To book a place telephone Sarah Klarich, 5023 5966

National Law Week is your chance to go behind the scenes of the legal system in Victoria, get free legal information and access legal services, take part in debates and discussions about legal and human rights issues, and speak to prominent legal practitioners.


 

Elder Abuse and Seniors Rights: A free information session for seniors and people who work with

the elderly in Sunraysia

 

Between 1 and 5 per cent of older people say they have experienced some form of abuse or neglect[1]

We all want to be treated well and treated with respect, no matter where we are in life. This may sometimes get forgotten with the day to day pressures faced by both individuals and families.

Elder abuse is defined as ‘any act that harms older people and that is carried out by someone they know, and should be able to trust, such as family or friends’. Financial, psychological, physical, neglect, sexual or social abuse are examples of the types of harm inflicted and usually by a close relative.

All adults, regardless of their age, have the right to self-determination and to make their own decisions based on informed choice. Highlighting the issue of elder abuse will empower people and, hopefully, prevent this type of harm from happening.

The Sunraysia community is invited to a free information session providing an overview of elder abuse, risks, prevention, and Wills and Powers of Attorney. 

The session will be presented by Senior Rights Victoria (SRV) solicitor Tabitha O’Shea and Mildura-based Holcroft Avery Lawyers partner Paul Avery at the invitation of the Murray Mallee Community Legal Service (MMCLS) as part of its National Law Week 2012 calendar of events.

Tabitha has worked in general legal practice in Central Victoria for several years. Before that she was employed in the public service. Tabitha is the co-ordinator of the Bendigo Seniors Rights Victoria Team assisting older persons experiencing or at risk of elder abuse.

When:                  Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 9.30am to 11am

Where:                Masonic Centre, Fifteenth Street, Irymple (ramp access available)

RSVP:                    To book a place telephone Sarah Klarich, 5023 5966

A free morning tea will be served following the event and resources will be displayed.

National Law Week is your chance to go behind the scenes of the legal system in Victoria, get free legal information and access legal services, take part in debates and discussions about legal and human rights issues, and speak to prominent legal practitioners.

 


 

[1] Rights. Respect. Trust. Victorian Government Elder Abuse Prevention Strategy, Fact Sheet 1, May 2009.

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE
Wednesday, 21 December 2011

 

Community lawyers claim The Cash Store's holiday marketing is irresponsible

 

A new advertisement from one of Australia’s leading payday loan brokers, The Cash Store, has raised the ire of two community legal centres, who fear the advert may result in many Victorian’s entering the New Year in a perilous financial position.

 

The flyer*, delivered to households in the Mildura region, is a certificate that states the recipient is guaranteed a loan of ‘at least four hundred dollars’ and implies that the recipient has been pre-approved without any credit assessment - a practice which would fly in the face of responsible lending laws and undermine the payday lending industry’s claims to be lending responsibly.

 

Catriona Lowe, co-CEO of Consumer Action, said that under Australian law lenders and brokers were required to make reasonable enquiries about each customer’s financial circumstances and ensure loan repayments wouldn’t cause them substantial hardship before lending them money, but that the flyer cast doubt on whether this was happening.

 

'ASIC recently released a report revealing instances of fundamental non-compliance with responsible lending laws in the payday lending industry. We are disappointed and concerned to see marketing of this type so soon after the regulator has raised serious compliance concerns.

 

‘This “payday lending certificate” seems to suggest pre-approval for a loan before someone has even stepped though the door of The Cash Store. But lending money on this basis would show blatant disregard for responsible lending laws. If proper assessments are being undertaken, then the marketing may be misleading Victorians to get them through the door,’ said Ms Lowe.

 

The Murray Mallee Community Legal Service, which services the area where the flyers were marketed, also expressed concern that The Cash Store was using the holiday season to market its loans, telling customers to bring in the certificate to "get your extra holiday money today". Tony Masterson of MMCLS said family budgets were already thinly spread at this time of year and encouraging people to take out more debt wasn’t the right message.

 

‘People who find themselves tempted by this offer should think twice. Payday loans typically come with exceptionally high annualised interest rates and, if you’re already struggling to balance your budget at this time of year, an expensive loan is only going to push you further into the red.

 

‘Research shows that the vast majority of payday lending clients received low incomes or a pension, so the odds are that the people who respond to The Cash Stores offer will be those who could least afford to borrow $400 at high cost. ’ said Mr Masterson.

 

The controversy surrounding the flyer comes at a bad time for the payday lending industry which is fighting Government attempts to introduce much needed consumer protections into the market. Ms Lowe of Consumer Action said The Cash Store’s offer provided further support for our view that responsible lending laws are not enough on their own to protect consumers and that Australia needs an interest rate cap.

 

'A cap on the cost of credit would encourage lenders to advance loans that have longer terms, and a lower cost, meaning that they would more likely to be affordable appropriate to consumers' needs.’ said Ms Lowe.

 

Dan Simpson

Media & Communication Officer

Consumer Action Law Centre

ph: (03) 8554 6906

mob: 0413 299 567

Follow us on http://twitter.com/consumer_action

 

 

Senior's Rights, Power of Attorney, Wills & Probate

Free information session held for the Senior member's of our community.
This community education activity was a joint initiative between the Murray Mallee Community Legal Service, Seniors Rights Victoria, Bendigo Health and The Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre.  The activity provided information about Elder Abuse, Wills & Power of Attorney's and the Probate Procedure.  Local law firm Holecroft Avery presented a talk regarding the Probate Process on a Pro bono basis and Tabitha O'Shea, Community Lawyer for Seniors Rights Victoria spoke to the group about Senior's Rights and Power's of Attorney.

The event was well attended and provided morning tea for all.  Resources were also displayed for the benefit of those attending.

 

Legal Services help people affected by floods

The Murray Mallee Community Legal Service (“MMCLS”) has started fielding calls from local agencies seeking to provide affected residents with relevant legal information, advice and referral. The Manager Tony Masterson said:

“The Community Legal Centre understands that for many people affected by the floods, insurance and other legal matters may not be their immediate concern. But people affected by the floods should know that we and other legal services, including Victoria Legal Aid, are ready to assist with relevant legal issues when they are ready.

In the meantime we’d like people to take away with them two key messages:

  1. If you have an insurance contract you believe covers you for flood damage, you should make a claim as soon as possible. Your insurance company must expedite your claim if you are in urgent financial need. Even if the claim is rejected, you may be reviewed at no cost by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
  2. If your insurance policy excludes floods, you may still be able to claim for water related damage.”

The MMCLS website (URL below) has information on relevant legal support services and direct links to online legal resources for those affected.

Legal Support Services

  1. Victoria Legal Aid: Mon-Fri 8.45am-5.15pm, 9269 0120 or 1800 677 402, www.legalaid.vic.gov.au
  2. Insurance Law Service: Mon-Fri 9.30am-4.30pm, 1300 663 464, www.insurancelaw.org.au
  3. Murray Mallee Community Legal Service: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, 50 235 966 or 1800 243 002, www.communitylaw.org.au/clc_murraymallee,

 

 

Sunraysia Floods

Legal Advice and Assistance

The Murray Mallee Community Legal Service (MMCLS) can help local residents with legal queries arising from the recent floods. Please check out our services and contact details below. Access to telephone interpreters can be arranged. www.communitylaw.org.au/clc_murraymallee

Victoria Legal Aid can provide free legal information to flood affected people via its Legal Information Service on 9269 0120 or 1800 677 402 (rural callers) 8.45am - 5.15pm. Access to telephone interpreters can be arranged. www.legalaid.vic.gov.au

The Law Institute of Victoria is also offering information on people's entitlements. Their advice line is 9607 9311. www.liv.asn.au/

The Insurance Law Service provides legal information, advice and referral to consumers across Australia. Call them on 1300 663 464 Mon - Fri 9.30am - 4.30pm. Their website has helpful fact sheets, including a new Flood Insurance fact sheet (see Legal Resources below). www.insurancelaw.org.au

Private residential tenants with issues resulting from the floods (eg urgent repairs) can contact Consumer Affairs Victoria's Mildura office on 5022 1735. www.consumer.vic.gov.au. Residents in the Bendigo region can contact Consumer Affairs Victoria's Loddon Mallee office on 5444 2038. Consumer Affairs Victoria has also released a media release with information for renters and landlords (see Legal Resources below).

Office of Housing residents can contact the Advocacy and Rights Centre's Social Housing Advocacy and Support Service on 5444 4364 or 1800 639 121 for information and advice.

Legal Resources

We also suggest that people affected by the floods or those assisting them access the following legal resources:

Some of the Legal fact sheets available on the Bushfire Legal Help website are also relevant for flood victims. http://www.bushfirelegalhelp.org.au/

  

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 



Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria



Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria



Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria
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