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Demand for legal services soaring

Legal Aid cases have jumped 16% in the last two years.
Legal Aid cases have jumped 16% in the last two years. Leigh Jensen

COFFS Coast residents have kept the local court busy over the past year with figures revealing 5610 people sought help from Legal Aid lawyers.

The Legal Aid NSW annual report was tabled in parliament this week, showing demand for services increased by 16% in the past two years.

Gene Roche, the solicitor in charge of the Coffs Harbour office of Legal Aid NSW, said 5610 legal services were provided in the last financial year in the area, equating to around 22 free legal services every day.

"Such help is available free of charge to everyone around the state (and) often some basic legal advice can be enough to help people resolve their issues," Mr Roche said.

"Whether you are going through a family breakdown, can't see your children, or experiencing domestic violence, or whether you have problems with loans, debts or bills, think you are being underpaid, or have been sold a faulty product or service, our lawyers can help you."

The report also revealed how it was bringing legal services within reach of Aboriginal communities through the Aboriginal Field Officer program.

Coffs Harbour is one of three areas using the service which provided 130 community legal education sessions, 162 civil and family law minor assistance services and 114 referrals to other agencies in the last financial year.

For more details about services and locations, visit www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au or call 6651 7899.

Topics:  coffs harbour local court legal aid nsw



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