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Legal issues are never pleasant to deal with – but when they arise, you want all the support you can get. This proves to be difficult if you’ve never been involved in a legal matter, or you can’t afford to pay for the high fees of a law firm.

That’s why we’re proud to introduce a team of experienced lawyers in Leongatha and the greater South Gippsland Shire who can assist you. Gippsland Community Legal Service provide high quality legal advice, completely free of charge for Leongatha residents.

From family violence situations to tenancy disputes, GCLS can provide advice for a range of different legal concerns. Some of the most common problems experienced by Leongatha locals include:

Family violence

Nobody deserves to experience an environment in which family violence occurs. If you’re currently experiencing family violence, there are steps you can take and services you can access in order to overcome it and live safely.

In the South Gippsland Shire, family violence rates are higher than the state average. While the average Victorian rate of family violence incidents is 1364.7 per 100,000 people, the rate in South Gippsland Shire is 1775 per 100,000 people.

Gippsland Community Legal Service takes all matters of family violence very seriously, and prioritises cases of family violence in the town of Leongatha and surrounds. If you’ve been experiencing family violence, the team at GCLS can help you with areas such as:

  • 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.

Leongatha residents who’ve experienced family violence should know that they are not alone, and that there are services available that can help overcome such problems. GCLS are here to provide experienced legal advice and link you with other, non-legal support services, completely free of charge.


If there’s one thing that all Australians should be entitled to, it’s safe, reliable housing. Legal concerns around tenancy can be incredibly stressful: they pose a threat to the stability of your living arrangements and, in the worst case scenario, can result in homelessness.

That’s why Gippsland Community Legal Service have a strong focus on resolving tenancy disputes before they escalate. Leongatha residents can rely on GCLS to assist them if they’ve been faced with an eviction notice, have been involved in a maintenance dispute, or any other concern regarding tenancy.

Here are some common issues experienced by Leongatha residents:

  • 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

Talk to the team at GCLS and gain the legal support you need to resolve tenancy disputes and live securely once again.

Family law - parenting plans

You’re not alone if you’re feeling stressed about a dispute regarding parenting plans. Other Leongatha residents have been in your shoes and have resolved this issue by talking to the team at Gippsland Community Legal Service.

Parenting plans can be tricky because they involve negotiating with an ex-partner which, in itself, brings about complications. Your child’s other parent may be being unreasonable when negotiating a parenting plan, or you may see them as negligent or ineffective.

GCLS can help residents of Leongatha to negotiate fair parenting plans. With all family law issues, GCLS and the Australian legal system encourages parents to agree on parenting plans without going to court as it is always emotionally and financially draining.

Some of the issues that GCLS can help you with when organising parenting plans include:

  • Making arrangements for the parenting of their children
  • Applying to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia for financial and/or parenting orders.

Family law - separation

Separation is another complicated and stressful part of life. With it comes further legal questions such as property settlement and custody of children, increasing the strain on you.

GCLS can help Leongatha residents going through separation. The team at GCLS provide you with trusted advice to best help you navigate separation and achieve the best outcome for everyone involved.

Some of the separation issues with which GCLS aims to assist you include:

  • Making a property settlement after separation or divorce
  • Applying for a divorce
  • Other legal issues as part of relationship breakdown, including family violence, debts and financial stresses and tenancy issues.

Mental health

One in five Victorians experience a mental health condition each year. In rural Victoria, the effects of this figure are heightened due to the limited number of mental health support services.

The statistics show the gap between mental health services in metropolitan Australia versus outer regional Australian area, like Leongatha. There is an average of 13 psychiatrists and 73 psychologists per 100,000 people in Australian major cities. In outer regional areas like Gippsland, however, the average is just 4 psychiatrists and 33 psychologists per 100,000 people.

So, you can see why the team at GCLS take mental health seriously for Leongatha residents. If you’re struggling with mental health issues which have impacted an area of law, GCLS can help. This includes:

  • Advance statements
  • Guardianship and administration
  • Representation at the Mental Health Tribunal

Contact Gippsland Community Legal Service today

The team at GCLS are pleased to offer free legal advice for a range of issues other than the ones mentioned here. Whether you require legal help relating to employment, coronial enquiries, consumer complaints, or something different, contact GCLS and gain support today.

Gippsland Community Legal Service