A new partnership between Legal Aid NSW and Hume Riverina Community Legal Service will boost the level of free legal support available in Deniliquin.
Hume Riverina Community Legal Service will continue offering personal help twice each month with a broad range of legal issues, from family violence and parenting disputes to fines and traffic offences.
On alternating fortnights, Legal Aid NSW lawyers who specialise in family law and in everyday legal issues — such as housing and renting, workplace rights and dealing with debt — will be on hand to provide confidential advice.
Senior Legal Aid NSW lawyer Dione Garwell, who specialises in family law and issues relating to child protection, said early access to legal help can give parents a voice and ensure courts are working with the best information.
‘‘Legal problems can be daunting, especially when families and kids are involved,’’ she said.
‘‘We know what a difference it can make for people who are already facing immensely stressful situations to be able to sit down with a lawyer face-to-face and talk through what they are experiencing.
‘‘Putting more lawyers on the ground, more often, is one way we can support families in crisis.’’
Hume Riverina Community Legal Service principal lawyer Sarah Rodgers said the partnership was forged to meet the ‘‘real need for accessible legal services in this region’’.
‘‘This partnership allows us to deliver vital legal support in a coordinated way, and ensure more locals get the help they need.
‘‘This is a time of year when we often see a significant rise in the number of people seeking help with a family law issue.
‘‘Unfortunately, disagreements about where the kids should live or who they spend time with often come to a head during the festive season.
‘‘In particular when it comes to family violence, often what we find is that as children start to head back to school, parents who have been putting on a brave face through the holidays will start to take steps to leave the violence behind.’’
Free, confidential help will be available for legal issues such as money worries and Centrelink, domestic violence orders, traffic offences, child protection issues, shared parenting arrangements, discrimination, renting household goods, or trouble at work.
Clinics held on the first and third Thursday of each month will run from 10.30am to 12.30pm, and clinics on the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 10.30am to 3pm.
All clinics will be held at Intereach, 366 Trickett St, Deniliquin. For enquiries or to make an appointment, call (03)58905200.