The following is not a complete review of all of the effects on Legal Aid, Justice Services and Family Relationships, but it looks at some of the effects of the 2014-2015 budget on these areas.
In the Portfolio budget statement for the Attorney’s General’s Department, there is a decrease in expenses from 2013–14 to 2014–15. It is explained that the decrease in expenses is primarily due to the budget measure called “Legal Aid—Withdrawal of additional funding” which provides a savings of $15.000m in 2014–15, and the one-off movement of funds of $7.134m from 2011–12 to 2013–14 for the provision of legal assistance for expensive Commonwealth criminal cases.
The Attorney’s Generals Department Portfolio Budget Statement explains that the budget decrease from 2015–16 to 2016–17 is primarily due to the completion of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2015–16.
The Family Relationship Services programme will be continued and funding will increase, although this is primary due to indexation rather than any real increase.
The Indigenous Legal Assistance Programme funding is expected remain the about the same for the upcoming year, but it will then reduce in the following year and then only increase primarily due to indexation.
Reference: Portfolio Budget Statements 2014-15, Attorney-General’s Department.