Bushfire Legal Help Available Into Next Fire Season

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15th October 2009, 01:56pm - Views: 480





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Media release 


Thursday 15 October 2009

ATTENTION NEWS EDITORS, BUSHFIRE REPORTERS, LEGAL REPORTERS

Please note bushfire legal help phone number 1800 113 432


BUSHFIRE LEGAL HELP AVAILABLE INTO NEXT FIRE SEASON

Bushfire legal help will be made available to victims of the 2009 fires into next year and the 2010 fire season.


Bushfire Legal Help has produced an on line free legal handbook and has a Bushfire Legal Help free phone line

available to bushfire victims and those assisting them with their recovery.


“Both the phone line and the legal handbook have proved very popular resources, and we have decided to keep these

services going at no cost to users into next year,” Bushfire Legal Help spokesperson Kerry O’Shea said today.


Since the 1800 number was established on 11 February, it has taken over 2600 calls. The phone line – 1800 113 432,

operates from Monday to Friday between 8.45 am and 5.15 pm and gives free legal advice and referrals to bushfire

victims and their case workers.




Since this site was launched in March, it has had over 4200 visits, with people accessing information about their legal

rights through facts sheets and the handbook.


The website contains information on insurance, property, fencing, family and relationships, employment, debt, utilities,

renting, victims of crime, wills and estates, the Coroner’s process, the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission,

lost documents, and relief. It also provides information about where to get further legal advice and help.


“This site has been updated in conjunction with this week’s fire action week, and we encourage anyone seeking legal

information about fire related topics to visit for more information,” Ms O’Shea said. 


“We understand that people will have a continuing need for legal advice beyond this year and into next year, so we are

pleased that we can continue to provide it free of charge,” she said.


Since the bushfires in February this year, more than 580 legal practitioners have volunteered their time and expertise

free of charge.


Bushfire Legal Help was established to provide pro bono support legal support and includes Victoria Legal Aid, the

Federation of Community Legal Centres, the Law Institute of Victoria, Victoria Law Foundation, Public Interest Law

Clearing House and the Victorian Bar.




Further information contact Kerry O’Shea on koshea@liv.asn.au or  0401 107103.






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