MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (6.41pm): I would like to speak today about the work done by the Welfare Rights and Legal Centre, specifically through their street law program. Street law is a program designed to assist people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness by providing them with legal advice or by connecting them with other free services which may assist. The program is designed to assist and support vulnerable Canberrans with legal problems before those problems get out of control.

The clients of the street law service face significant barriers in accessing or understanding their legal rights and problems which, if ignored, become much bigger than they need be. The lawyers at street law help with debt problems, Centrelink issues, housing concerns, domestic violence protection orders, employment rights, victims compensation, disability care and discrimination, among other issues.

Street law have an office in the city in Canberra but it is predominantly an outreach service. They visit Inanna, the Early Morning Centre, Toora women's centre and the Migrant Refugee Settlement Services to meet with those who may need their help. Most people do not know help is available to them in this area until the street law service reaches them through their outreach.

I would like to acknowledge the work of Genevieve Bolton, Jo Wright, Anusha Goonetilleke and all the staff and volunteers who dedicate their time to this valuable program. I would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge Clayton Utz for their support of street law. I commend those involved in street law and thank them for their ongoing commitment and for taking the time to meet with me this week. You can find out more about them on the web at

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