19 May 2020
For immediate release
Commitment of continued advocacy funding welcomed by QAI
Leading disability advocacy organisation and community legal centre Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI) has welcomed the allocation of further funding by the Queensland Attorney- General, Yvette D’Ath, to support QAI to continue its vital work.
“In continuing to maintain QAI’s core services funding, the Government has recognised the value of the work of this sector, and the value of the work of our centre. We are gratified that we can continue to perform our essential work advocating for the rights and lives of the most vulnerable people with disability in Queensland,” QAI Director Michelle O’Flynn said today. “QAI’s Human Rights Legal Service, our Mental Health Legal Service and our Justice Support Program are all viable by virtue of funding by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General. These services provide vital advocacy to promote, protect and defend the fundamental human rights of very vulnerable Queenslanders.”
The provision of five-year funding certainty is a welcome relief. “Having guaranteed funding for the next five years will be instrumental in assisting us to continue to provide timely, quality advocacy support for vulnerable Queenslanders,” Emma Phillips, Deputy Director and Principal Solicitor of QAI, said today. “Particularly during these uncertain times, we are grateful to be able to provide ongoing advocacy support for our clients and certainty of continued employment for our valued staff.”
QAI also welcomed the recent announcement by the Federal Government of an additional $63 million funding for the Australian legal assistance sector, in response to the increased legal need resulting from the CoVID19 pandemic.
“We are grateful that both levels of government have recognised the importance of providing funding support and certainty for this sector and responded accordingly,” Ms Phillips said. “While very welcome, we note that the funding for this sector remains insufficient in the face of the high levels of need we see every day. There remains an urgent, unmet need for advocacy across a range of areas. We call on the State and Federal Government to further invest in this sector. We know that the provision of advocacy support for marginalised and disempowered Queenslanders is a key safeguard in preventing the escalation of problems and helping to protect people from further vulnerability, such as homelessness.”
Contact: Emma Phillips, Deputy Director and Principal Solicitor, QAI