Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) has announced severe funding cuts to eligibility for criminal, family law and children's court matters.
The result will see increased self-represented people before our Courts and a denial of access to justice. VLA's Annual Report 2011/2012 reports a $3 million deficit.
The Commonwealth government's contribution to VLA has decreased from 55 per cent to 33 per cent over the past decade.
Now the Federal Attorney-General has pledged $1.3 billion over three years.
What is this to be spent on? VLA spends $49 million of public money on its own in-house lawyer costs.
VLA was a 'dispenser' of government public funds. Now it is a 'user of public funds' as a large corporate body.
The legal aid system in Victoria is wrong - it is now broken and needs to be fixed.