If you need legal help in Bairnsdale, but don’t know who to turn to, we understand that it can be a frustrating and emotionally taxing experience.
Fortunately, there is someone here to help. Gippsland Community Legal Service provide quality legal advice, free of charge for Bairnsdale and other East Gippsland residents. Whether you need help with a family violence issue, obtaining a Personal Safety Intervention Order (PSIO) or disputing a fine that you’ve been issued with, Gippsland Community Legal Service can assist you with all of these legal matters for free.
Bairnsdale residents can trust the lawyers at GCLS to offer the best advice when it comes to legal issues. Here are some common issues that the GCLS team are experienced in dealing with:
Family violence cases are taken extremely seriously at Gippsland Community Legal Service and, sadly, it’s one of the most common reasons why Bairnsdale residents need legal help.
The statistics show a concerning insight into the prevalence of family violence in the East Gippsland area. The Victorian average of family violence incidents is 1364.7 per 100,000 people. In East Gippsland, however, the rate of family violence incidents is 3400 per 100,000 people – two and a half times the Victorian average.
This also means that East Gippsland has the highest rate of family violence incidents in Victoria. Thus, GCLS prioritise cases of family violence in Bairnsdale and do everything in their power to assist you.
Some of the services offered by GCLS to Bairnsdale residents include:
- Intervention order advice before Court
- Duty lawyers who can provide advice, representation and referrals on the day you have to attend Court
- In some cases, assistance for respondents to intervention orders
- Help with legal problems beyond intervention orders, including tenancy, parenting plans, debts, fines, infringements and more.
Personal Safety Intervention Orders (PSIOs)
Due to the particularly high rate of family violence cases in East Gippsland, Personal Safety Intervention Orders (PSIOs) are another area of law that Bairnsdale residents often seek help with.
What is a PSIO?
A PSIO is a court order to protect you, your children and your property from another person’s behaviour. This could include the behaviour of a a neighbour, friend or someone else who is not a family member or relative.
The person applying for a PSIO is called the applicant or affected person. The person who the application is made against is called the respondent. The Court can make an interim PSIO to protect the applicant until the final hearing of the case, where the Court will decide whether a final PSIO is appropriate.
If you have been assaulted, harassed, threatened, stalked or had your property damaged in Bairnsdale, the team at GCLS can help you make an application for a PSIO. Consult GCLS for free legal advice on obtaining a PSIO and take the next step to securing your personal safety.
Fines and infringements
While receiving a fine or notice of infringement is never a pleasant experience, it’s even less so if the fine was issued wrongly or unjustly, or you’re not in a financial position to pay the fine.
GCLS care about disputing and negotiating fines that have been wrongly or unjustly issued to Bairnsdale and East Gippsland residents. Services offered include:
- Helping you nominate the person who incurred the fine or infringement if it is currently in your name
- Requesting a review of the fines or infringements
- Negotiating a payment plan
- Helping you access the Work and Development Permit Scheme, which allows some fines or infringements to be worked off through activities or treatment
- Helping you access the Family Violence Scheme, which allows some fines to be withdrawn where family violence substantially contributed to the fine or infringement being incurred
- Helping you choose to take the fine or infringement to Court if you want to contest it.
Family law and separation
Some of the most stressful legal issues are often related to family law and divorce. Not only is this an emotionally challenging time, but it also brings other concerns such as property settlement, parenting plans and challenges for your children.
At Gippsland Community Legal Service, our lawyers provide free assistance to Bairnsdale families experiencing these issues. The team at GCLS are determined to settle these arrangements without going to court. Australia’s family law system also encourages families to take this route, as going to court is financially and emotionally burdensome.
GCLS are here to help Bairnsdale residents who:
- Want to make a property settlement after separation or divorce
- Want to make arrangements for the parenting of their children
- Need to apply to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia for financial and/or parenting orders.
- Want to apply for a divorce
- Need help with other legal issues as part of relationship breakdown, including family violence, debts and financial stresses and tenancy issues.
Tenancy issues amongst Bairnsdale residents are also prioritised by the team at Gippsland Community Legal Service. These issues require immediate legal attention; otherwise, the potential impacts can include homelessness and a serious threat to personal safety.
On top of this, tenancy issues in Bairnsdale are often impacted by further problems such as family violence, financial abuse and separation. GCLS offer free legal advice to Bairnsdale residents who are experiencing tenancy issues as a result of these other problems.
Gippsland Community Legal Service can help Bairnsdale residents solve a range of legal issues arising from tenancy, including:
- Financial difficulties and struggling to pay rent
- Eviction or challenging a notice to vacate
- Having a dispute with your property manager or rental provider about repairs and maintenance of rental properties
- Negotiating and dealing with a government or community housing agency about tenancy
- Seeking compensation from rental providers who breach their duties under the rental agreement
- Applying to and attending VCAT for your tenancy issues
Contact GCLS today
Whether you need help with one of the issues listed in this article, or need assistance with something completely different, GCLS are here to help Bairnsdale residents, offering free legal advice. Get in touch with GCLS today.