Each financial year, contingency funding is set aside from the Legal Assistance Services Program (LASP) to allow the government to respond to emergencies and/or adapt to the emerging needs of the community.
The LASP recognises that new and unforeseen areas of legal need may emerge during the funding cycle.
If there is an emergency or unforeseen service delivery expense (e.g. natural disaster or sudden and unexpected need to relocate), community organisations funded under the LASP can apply to the Department of Justice and Attorney-General (DJAG) for contingency funding.
To do this, community organisations should submit a written request to firstname.lastname@example.org, addressed to the Director-General of DJAG for consideration.
We have set aside a total of $1.249 million in contingency funding over 2020–25.
Contingency funding 2021–22
In March 2022, community legal centres were encouraged to apply for contingency funding as a result of the South East Queensland Rainfall and Flooding (flood/rain events) of February/March 2022 that may have resulted in emergency or unforeseen service delivery expenses. At this time, the balance of 2021–22 contingency funding available for allocation was $250,800. We received 7 applications for funding; 2 of these applications were considered out-of-scope and were not allocated funding.
Flood/rain events funding
Contingency funding allocations for flood/rain events service delivery were made to the community legal centres listed in the below table.
Flood/rain events funding allocation ($)
Caxton Legal Centre
HUB Community Legal
Pine Rivers Community Legal Centre
Refugee and Immigration Legal Service
The Refugee and Immigration Legal Service (RAILS) was allocated $37,006 to address the emerging Afghanistan crisis. RAILS—the only specialist immigration and refugee community organisation in Queensland—anticipates the demand for services to increase following the fall of Kabul, the Afghanistan crisis impacting members of the Afghan community in Queensland.
Central Queensland Community Legal Centre
The Central Queensland Community Legal Centre (CQCLC) was allocated $20,013 to undertake vital repairs and provide a suitable fit-out of its Mount Isa office premises to allow in-person service delivery. As the Mount Isa region isn’t covered by other community organisations, the CQCLC was allocated funding to deliver services in the Mount Isa region over 2021–25.
Contingency funding 2020–21
As of 1 April 2021, there was a total of $260,235 in contingency funding that remained unallocated. Uniquely, the unspent contingency funding in the 2020–21 process was combined with unspent funding returned after the expiry of the 2017–20 service agreements on 30 June 2020.
Combining the 2 funding sources meant there was $426,609 available for this process.
We received 20 applications for funding valued at over $3.5 million. Funding was allocated to the applicants deemed to deliver the highest quality services for an emerging community legal need, combined with the highest value for money services.
Allocations were made to:
- Basic Rights Queensland
- TASC National
Basic Rights Queensland
Basic Rights Queensland (BRQ) was allocated $63,670 for a targeted regional and remote service stream to remotely based citizens through partnership with neighbourhood centres and Indigenous community-controlled services. The project is focused in Doomadgee, Mornington Island, Weipa and Northern Peninsula Area. It will help eligible community members who are most vulnerable and disadvantaged to receive payment entitlements.
TASC National was allocated $125,000 to develop a way to reach people in the primary homeless target group due to the Toowoomba housing crisis. With a preventative and responsive service delivery model, TASC will work alongside other services in the community to reach and assist vulnerable and disadvantaged people experiencing homelessness. The service will offer legal services and referral pathways.
RAILS was allocated $237,939 to assist asylum seekers and refugees who have arrived in Australia by boat. Due to an increasing spike in visas due to expire over the next 2 years, there is an emerging need for legal assistance services for boat-arriving asylum seekers and refugees.