For the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA (ALSWA), the anxious wait is finally over, with the news that the proposed legal assistance sector cuts have been reversed.
“It has been an incredibly stressful period for our organisation amidst the uncertainty of future operations and we welcome this news ahead of the May Budget” said ALSWA CEO Dennis Eggington.
“I am extremely pleased that our plight has received so much support across the country from Aboriginal and mainstream organisations and individuals who recognise the vital role that we play within the justice system”.
The announcement, by the Federal Attorney-General’s Department, ensures that ALSWA can continue with its current operations, providing legal support and representation for some of the state’s most disadvantaged, over-policed and over-represented people within the justice system.
“Without our assistance there would be ever more despair than there already is with the basic human rights of Aboriginal people diminishing even further” said Mr. Eggington.
ALSWA employs over one hundred staff across its fifteen WA offices and resources are already stretched. “We operate on a very tight budget as it is and the prospect of that being further slashed was impossible to comprehend. As the CEO, I am extremely relieved that the Government has reversed these cuts which will enable us to continue the vital work that we do in an often complex and challenging system”.