Locals of Phillip Island are proud to call this special place their home. But, as great as it is to live on Phillip Island, there is one particular downside which is common for regional areas: finding legal assistance when you need it most.
People in regional areas like Phillip Island don’t have as much help available as those in metropolitan areas do. But that’s why we’re pleased to introduce our team of legal professionals at Gippsland Community Legal Service (GCLS).
GCLS provides dedicated legal assistance, free of charge, for Phillip Island and other Bass Coast Shire locals when they’re in times of need. Some of the common issues with which Phillip Island residents need GCLS’s help include family violence, parenting plans and personal safety intervention orders.
GCLS can assist you with all of these problems and a range of others. Keep reading to find out more about how GCLS can help you today:
Family violence is a problem which GCLS hears of frequently amongst Phillip Island residents. Statistics show an alarming situation in the Bass Coast Shire, which has a rate of family violence that is drastically higher than the Victorian average.
While the Victorian average of family violence incidents is 1364.7 per 100,000 people, in Bass Coast shire, the rate of family violence incidents is 3400 per 100,000 people – nearly double this amount at 2384.2 cases per 100,000.
We take family violence very seriously, prioritising cases of family violence on Phillip Island. If you live on Phillip Island and have experienced family violence, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Gippsland Community Legal Service for free legal help.
GCLS helps to make sense of the legal problems that can arise when family violence occurs. GCLS also has a strong relationship with family violence support services and can help link you with them to ensure that you are also receiving as much non-legal support as you need.
Family violence assistance services provided by GCLS in Phillip Island 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.
Family law - parenting plans
When you need help organising parenting plans on Phillip Island, don’t hesitate to call Gippsland Community Legal Service. Disputes over parenting plans can be very stressful. You may feel that your child’s other parent may be being unreasonable when negotiating a parenting plan, or you may be concerned for your child’s safety if you view their other parent as negligent or ineffective.
GCLS have helped many Phillip Island and Bass Coast Shire residents in negotiating fair parenting plans and coming to civil agreements. With all family law issues, GCLS and the Australian legal system encourages parents to agree on parenting plans without going to court: going to court is 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.
Personal Safety Intervention Orders (PSIOs)
Personal Safety Intervention Orders (PSIOs) can be a complex area of law to navigate, but the team at GCLS are here to help you get through it. We have helped many Phillip Island residents secure PSIOs in the past and can assist your case as well.
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 on Phillip Island, 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.
Tenancy issues encompass a wide range of problems – from having a dispute with your rental provider about the responsibility of a repair, to being handed an eviction notice.
GCLS are here to help Phillip Island residents with any tenancy concerns, from the big to the small.
GCLS understand that tenancy can also be affected by additional life problems, such as financial stress, domestic violence, separation and others. GCLS looks to provide legal advice, keeping in mind all the factors in your life, and offering the best solution for your personal situation.
Gippsland Community Legal Service can help Phillip Island 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
Many other areas of law
We have helped many Phillip Island residents with legal issues other than the ones mentioned here. Whatever your concern, you’ll find help through GCLS, offering expert legal advice, completely free of charge. Get in touch with the friendly team at GCLS and help us to help you today.