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Legal Aid for regions outstrips metro areas

MORE than half of all Legal Aid-funded advice goes to financially disadvantaged people in rural, regional and remote areas of Queensland.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie told an estimates hearing at Parliament House on Thursday that in-house counsel made appearances in regional and remote circuits from Mount Isa to Mackay and right down the coast to Maryborough and Hervey Bay.

He said there were also legal outreach clinics where lawyers travelled the surrounding regions or used videoconferencing links to provide legal advice services.

"I think it is important to note that 57% of Legal Aid Queensland's legal advice and representation services were delivered to clients from non-metropolitan areas," he said.

"Legal Aid Queensland is committed to revitalising front-line legal services to rural, regional and remote areas of Queensland.

"We have three regional offices providing services to regional Queensland and a state-wide network of regional preferred supplier private law firms that contribute to the strengthening of Queensland's justice system."

Mr Bleijie said Legal Aid, during 2011-12, had provided 53,500 early intervention legal advice, more than 1.5 million preventative legal services, 67,000 criminal law duty lawyer services to children and adults and 1989 family law duty lawyer services across the state.

He said Legal Aid had approved more than 27,000 aid grants for lawyers to represent people in criminal law, family law, child protection, domestic violence and other matters; and gave $57.8 million to private law firms to represent disadvantaged people.


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