iStock 1018896288 Mallacoota

Even in the pretty seaside town of Mallacoota, where the atmosphere is so relaxed that it seems impossible to have problems, one can experience legal issues.

Handling these issues can be difficult if you’re not familiar with legal processes. But, fortunately, there’s a team of dedicated, caring professionals who can assist you: Gippsland Community Legal Service.

We offer trusted legal assistance, completely free of charge, for Mallacoota and other Gippsland residents who need it most. From tenancy disputes to family law concerns and more, GCLS have the expertise to help resolve your legal issue. Here are some of the common areas of law with which Mallacoota residents need assistance from GCLS:


Tenancy issues are the most common among Mallacoota residents, turning to GCLS for professional advice. Since Mallacoota’s population increases from 1000 to about 9000 during summer months, with families from Melbourne and around the Gippsland region renting holiday homes here, you can see why tenancy disputes are so prevalent.

If you’re a tenant who’s facing eviction or engaged in a dispute over maintenance responsibility, we can provide legal assistance, completely free of charge.

Gippsland Community Legal Service can help Mallacoota 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

Civil property disputes

Another prevalent issue in the town of Mallacoota is civil property and disputes relating to it. If you’ve been involved in a civil property dispute, we understand that it’s stressful – no matter which side of the dispute you’re on.

If a rental provider is claiming that you caused damage to the property when this wasn’t the case, GCLS can help you understand your rights as a renter and give you the support you need.

As a tenant, you have the following duties:

  • Not causing a nuisance or interference with the peace, comfort or privacy of neighbours
  • Not damaging the property or common areas
  • Keeping the property in a reasonably clean condition
  • Allowing entry to the property if proper notice has been given.
  • Not making modifications that need consent without first getting that consent
  • Returning the property to its original condition on moving out, unless it has been agreed this does not need to be done

If you have followed these duties but a rental provider is still engaging in a civil dispute, don’t hesitate to contact GCLS. We have handled similar disputes in the Mallacoota region previously and have resolved these issues. Some of the ways GCLS can help include:

  • Writing to rental providers and negotiating with them
  • Outlining rental providers’ responsibilities from a legal standpoint
  • Helping renters get reimbursement for unjustly issued maintenance bills

Family law

Family legal issues in Mallacoota are stressful for all parties involved; not only is it directly stressful for parents, but for children too. GCLS understands the difficulty of navigating family breakdown, divorce and parenting plans and are here to help. The GCLS team offers the best quality free legal advice and are sympathetic to your situation.

When resolving legal issues around parenting plans and divorce, GCLS is determined to do this outside of court. Going to court proves to be financially and emotionally stressful for all parties involved which is why Australia’s family law system endeavours to resolve issues without resorting to court.

Gippsland Community Legal Service can help Mallacoota 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.


Fines are a common issue faced by residents of Mallacoota seeking assistance from GCLS, including where the infringement of the law was caused due to suffering from something greater like a family violence incident?

GCLS have dealt with complex cases like this before and have successfully refuted those fines upon proving that family violence (or another special circumstance) contributed to the infringement.

If you’ve recently received a fine in Mallacoota 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.

Contact the team at GCLS today

Gippsland Community Legal Service belongs to the community: in other words, we belong to you. We are a non-profit organisation that gives top quality legal assistance to those who need it most in Mallacoota and the East Gippsland Shire region. Don’t hesitate to contact our team today and get the legal support you need.

Gippsland Community Legal Service