Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA) Inc. is a statewide service providing free legal advice and/or representation in the areas of banking, finance, credit; and consumer goods and services. The organisation provides free assistance through the telephone advice line (08 9221 7066), casework and community legal education.
Cuts to financial counsellors
= hurt vulnerable Australians
= cost more in the long term
Struggling Perth families will no longer get free financial counselling due to budget cuts. From 1 October 2015 metro Perth financial counselling services will be de-funded. Regional services will be funded for another year only.
CCLSWA calls on the State government to reinstate funding to the Perth financial counselling service and to continue funding the rural service beyond the 12 months.
Financial counsellors provide an invaluable community service. They give hope and a helping hand to the most vulnerable in our community. Financial counsellors intervene early to help people negotiate with their banks, draw up budgets and re-payment plans. They use advocacy and negotiations to help people avoid spiralling debt, bankruptcy and homelessness.Currently demand for financial counsellors is very high, with a 2-6 week wait list
Where will people go when the service is cut?
In the long run: funding cuts will cause more strain on the public purse. There will be greater demand on emergency services; more mental health problems; poorer financial literacy; family breakdowns; more disadvantaged children; more domestic violence; more court sessions... the list goes on.
Recent research by the University of Adelaide shows that every $1 dollar spent on financial counselling brings $5 of benefits. Besides cost benefits, financial counsellors' help bring improved financial literacy, stabilised housing and reduced court expenses.
CCLSWA works very closely with financial counsellors. CCLSWA considers financial counsellors an integral part of our legal assistance to clients.
CCLSWA calls on the State government to reinstate funding to this crucial service.
Financial Literacy Education Prevention better than cure
CCLSWA believes in prevention. Financial literacy is key to prevent poor financial decisions and out of control debt.
CCLSWA is committed to financial literacy education initiatives and community legal education. We reach different target groups: high school students, youth, new Australians, community advocates and groups with specific vulnerabilites such as migrants with low literacy, prisoners and women.
CCLSWA welcomes Peter Bracegirdle to our team. Peter takes over from David Kernohan as centre manager. Peter was formerly centre manager at YMCA Morley Sport & Recreation. He will add valuable insight to CCLSWA.
Sadly, we said goodbye to David Kernohan last month. David is now the CEO at Mental Health Law Centre. Next we shall say goodbye to another two colleagues who will move overseas and interstate. Our solicitor Alicia and our legal administrative assistant Sam start their new ventures in July.