3 July 2013 – Volume 36


Lady in wheelchair

Centrelink decision to cancel a disability pension overturned with our help 

Our lawyers have played a vital role in helping a woman with serious disabilities overturn a Centrelink decision to cancel her disability support pension. 

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Holistic lawyering and high quality services for our clients a continuing focus for Victoria Legal Aid 

In 2013–14 we will consolidate the hard work of last year and continue our focus on ensuring our clients are the beneficiaries of high quality and holistic services.

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Addressing legal need in south-west Victoria 

We are better meeting local legal need in south-west Victoria since we began providing more services from our Warrnambool office in late 2012.

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VLA people

Chief Counsel moving on

Chief Counsel Saul Holt SC will be leaving Victoria Legal Aid at the end of this year after making a significant and lasting contribution in his five years with the organisation. Find out more.

Vacancy for senior lawyers in Dandenong and Geelong 

The State Government's recent announcement of $868,000 over two years for Victoria Legal Aid to extend legal services for people with a mental illness will provide more help in growth areas and rural and regional Victoria.

Part of the funding will be used to employ two senior lawyers in Dandenong and Geelong to provide legal services for people with a mental illness or intellectual disability.

Our expanded legal practice will enable us to assist at least 300 more people in Mental Health Review Board hearings, and broaden our services into growing areas of need such as Dandenong, Geelong and Bendigo.

Applications for the senior lawyer positions close Friday 12 July. For more information see our jobs board.

Panel practitioner updates

Victoria Legal Aid payment terms

Victoria Legal Aid reminds private practitioners of our payment terms. New terms were introduced on 1 November 2012.

Practitioners now receive payments within 30 days from the date we receive a correctly rendered invoice. This is in line with standard government payment policy.

Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Jennings explained that payments are processed twice weekly through electronic funds transfer. Payment days are Tuesdays and Thursdays.

'Since the introduction of ATLAS, our online system for practitioners to lodge and track legal aid applications, extensions and invoices, many payments are often processed within a much shorter timeframe,' said Elizabeth.

'Adopting the government payment policy and moving to a 30-day payment schedule is just one of a number of strategies we are introducing to ensure prudent use of cash reserves and a sustainable financial future,' she said.

For more information call our Assignments team on (03) 9269 0600.

Community news

Castan Centre for Human Rights Law Conference – Friday 26 July

Held by the Castan Centre, this conference will discuss current human rights issues locally and internationally. For more information see Castan Centre Human Rights Law Conference.

International Commission of Jurists Victoria fundraising dinner – Friday 26 July

Commonwealth Attorney-General the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP will be interviewed by award-winning journalist Leigh Sales as part of this year's International Commission of Jurists Victoria fundraising dinner. For more information see International Commission of Jurists Victoria fundraising dinner.
lawyer and client

Legal assistance services in Melbourne's north east

Victoria Legal Aid ceased providing services from the Preston office at 42 Mary Street, Preston from 1 July 2013. Clients will continue to receive help from their lawyer and will be provided with new contact details.
Legal help lady with headset

New 1300 number for Legal Help

Our new Legal Help number will make it easier for people to call us and get the help that they need.

Order free publications

Download or order our free plain language fact sheets, brochures and educational resources on a range of legal problems.

If you have any community news that you would like included in this eNewsletter email editor@vla.vic.gov.au. Items will be published at the editor's discretion.

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