Finding legal help in Lakes Entrance can be difficult, especially if you aren’t familiar with legal processes or can’t afford to go to a law firm. This kind of predicament only adds extra pressure to your situation – but, thankfully, there’s a team of dedicated professionals who are here to help.
Gippsland Community Legal Service (GCLS) provide high quality, free legal assistance to those who need it most in Lakes Entrance and the East Gippsland Shire region. If you’re currently in need of legal assistance, we can help you.
Some of the most common issues for which Lakes Entrance residents seek our assistance are family violence, tenancy disputes and personal safety intervention orders (PSIOs). The team at GCLS can help you navigate all of these issues, as well as a range of others. Here’s how GCLS can provide free legal help to East Gippsland Shire residents:
Family violence cases are taken extremely seriously at Gippsland Community Legal Service and, sadly, it’s one of the most common reasons why Lakes Entrance residents need our legal assistance.
The following statistics reveal a dire situation regarding the prevalence of family violence in the East Gippsland Shire:
The Victorian average of family violence incidents is 1364.7 per 100,000 people. In East Gippsland Shire, 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. This is why GCLS prioritises cases of family violence in Lakes Entrance and surrounding towns, using all of our resources to help resolve your situation.
On top of this, GCLS has strong connections with other, non-legal support services for family violence victims. It’s part of our job to connect you with these services in order to give you all the help that’s available.
Some of the services offered by GCLS to Lakes Entrance 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.
The second-most common legal concern for Lakes Entrance residents is tenancy. Issues surrounding tenancy are diverse and the team at GCLS are determined to help you navigate whatever kind of issue you’re having.
For example, you may have received a notice to vacate but have nowhere else to go. Or, you may be involved in an ongoing dispute with the landlord regarding whose responsibility it is to pay for a certain repair that was done. We can give you legal assistance, completely free of charge, if you’re experiencing similar issues.
GCLS also understands that tenancy issues frequently arise from other serious legal problems such as family violence, separation and financial abuse. If you’re experiencing any of these issues which are impacting your tenancy, the team at GCLS can offer legal support to help you solve these problems from the source.
Gippsland Community Legal Service can help Lakes Entrance 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
Personal Safety Intervention Orders (PSIOs)
When an unsafe situation like stalking seems difficult to resolve, the next step is to look at obtaining a Personal Safety Intervention Orders (PSIOs). This is another area of law that Lakes Entrance residents may need assistance with.
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 violent friend, a neighbour 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 Lakes Entrance, 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.
There are times when a fine may be wrongly issued, or you find it unjust. Family violence victims, for example, sometimes receive fines but, with the help of GCLS, have successfully disputed those fines upon proving that family violence contributed to the infringement.
If you’ve recently received a fine in Lakes Entrance and feel it was unjust, contact the team at GCLS. We can assist you by:
- 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.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the lawyers at GCLS today. Gippsland Community Legal Service have helped many Lakes Entrance residents with legal issues other than the ones mentioned here. Whatever your concern, you’ll find help through GCLS, gaining experienced legal advice, completely free of charge. Get in touch with the friendly team at GCLS and help us to help you today.