Western Australia’s most vulnerable community members will have better access to legal advice thanks to an exciting new initiative launched today by Legal Aid WA.
Legal Aid WA’s network of virtual offices will enable the agency, in partnership with local community organisations, to deliver services in locations where Legal Aid does not have a physical office.
The 10 virtual offices are located at Armadale, Joondalup, Mandurah and Midland in the metropolitan area; and Esperance, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, Karratha, Leonora and Meekatharra in regional WA.
Screens with cameras have been installed at community centres that have partnered with Legal Aid to host the service and will put people face-to-face with a Legal Aid lawyer.
As stated by Attorney General John Quigley:
“This is a really exciting new initiative which will improve access to justice by giving Western Australians another way to access Legal Aid.
“Legal Aid plays an important role in our State’s justice system, providing a high level of quality services to the Western Australian community.
“The network of virtual offices is the latest in a number of initiatives that Legal Aid has launched to innovate, modernise and broaden its reach, particularly to those living in regional WA.
“One of the great benefits of the virtual offices is they are hosted by organisations that already provide many different services in their local communities, including information, advocacy, counselling services, support and referral.
“These agencies will now also be able to offer legal advice appointments with a Legal Aid lawyer.
“The screens and cameras provide a cost-effective way to deliver services in these locations and Legal Aid is already assessing other locations around WA for a second tranche of virtual offices.
“I commend Legal Aid and its partner organisations on this great new initiative. It is just another step in ensuring that Western Australians are not denied the right to equal justice because of poverty, marginalisation or location.”