The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) is set to share in joint funding of almost $30 million from the Andrews Government, and the Commonwealth, for community legal centres across the state to respond to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The ASRC will receive $171,500 to support its continued delivery of frontline legal assistance services during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Member for Footscray Katie Hall MP welcomed the funding, which will provide more members of the community with access to justice as they face the challenges arising from COVID-19.

Community legal centres are responding to increased demand due to the impacts of COVID-19 and the ASRC provides vital support to refugees and asylum seekers with immigration advice and representation.

The funding boost will also help the ASRC to upgrade technology so that more community members can access the help they need remotely and digitally while the COVID-19 restrictions remain ongoing.

The Victorian Government’s $17.5 million COVID-19 response is in addition to funding recently agreed with the Commonwealth under the National Legal Assistance Partnership 2020-25 Agreement.

The Agreement will see an additional $4 million in funding each year for the legal assistance sector in Victoria compared to the expiring National Partnership Agreement 2015-20.

Quote attributable to Attorney-General Jill Hennessy

“Our community legal centres are on the frontline, helping Victorians who need support every single day – this funding will ensure they provide this support virtually, to more Victorians.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Member for Footscray Katie Hall

“Asylum Seeker Resource Centre does vital work supporting people in our community every day, this extra support recognises that work as well as the challenges of operating during the coronavirus pandemic.”

“With this funding boost our community can be assured that they will continue to have a place to turn for legal help when they need it.”