The Queensland government has announced grants of $100 million to community legal aid groups.
The Queensland government has announced a $100 million funding deal for legal aid services, ahead of likely federal budget cuts to legal services.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie appeared alongside outgoing Chief Justice Paul de Jersey to announce the three-year funding deal.
“Rather than legal centres getting one-year funding, and then coming past the financial year and … wondering whether they have funding, we wanted to make sure that wasn’t the case any more,” Mr Bleijie said on Tuesday.
He later sidestepped a question about whether the triennial funding announcement was linked to reports that Tuesday night’s budget is set to strip federal funds from legal aid services.
“I’m not speculating on what’s in or what’s not in the budget,” he told reporters.
Legal Aid Queensland is receiving $64 million from the state government while other legal groups are sharing in $30 million.
Another $5.5 million will be spent on regulating the services.
Queensland’s announcement comes after the federal government flagged in December deep cuts to indigenous legal aid services and Environmental Defenders Offices, which are set to be reflected in Tuesday night’s budget.