iStock 909534424 Wonthaggi

If you’re in need of legal help in Wonthaggi, but don’t know where to turn to, it can open the door to experiencing further stress. It also adds pressure when you’re on a financial budget and can’t afford the high fees of a law firm.

So, where do you go to seek help?

Thankfully, there’s a team of professionals who provide comprehensive legal assistance – Gippsland Community Legal Service. They provide high quality legal help, totally free of charge.

From advising on a family violence incident, to helping negotiate a tenancy dispute, the team at GCLS are here to resolve your legal troubles. Here are some of the common legal issues experienced by Wonthaggi residents, and what GCLS can do to help you if you’re in a similar position.

Family violence

Gippsland is known for its higher-than-usual rates of family violence incidents. In some parts of Gippsland, such as Latrobe Valley and East Gippsland, family violence rates are at two and a half times the average rate in Melbourne.

In Wonthaggi and the South Gippsland Shire, family violence rates thankfully aren’t as high as that – but it’s still a large problem in the area. 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 take all matters of family violence very seriously, and prioritise cases of family violence in the town of Wonthaggi and surrounds. If you’ve been experiencing family violence, you are not alone. Others from Wonthaggi have been in your position and have resolved their situation by contacting GCLS for help.

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.


Everybody deserves a stable living arrangement. That’s why tenancy issues are so stressful: if they are not handled correctly, they can lead to homelessness and a serious threat to personal safety.

GCLS have helped negotiate with rental providers on behalf of clients who are engaged in tenancy disputes. The GCLS team are experienced in looking after Wonthaggi locals, and making them aware of their rights as tenants.

Just like family legal matters, tenancy issues in Wonthaggi are often impacted by further problems such as family violence, financial abuse and separation. GCLS offer free legal advice to Wonthaggi residents who are experiencing tenancy issues as a result of these other problems.

Here are some common issues experienced by Wonthaggi 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.

Parenting plans

Coming out of separation brings many other legal questions to the table. Parenting plans can be a great concern for separating families in the region of Wonthaggi.

Organising a parenting plan involves negotiating with an ex-partner which in itself can be complicated. That’s why GCLS offer their free legal service to separating parents in Wonthaggi, organising fair parenting plans for both parties involved.

With all family law issues, GCLS and the Australian legal system encourages parents to agree on parenting plans without going to court (which is always financially and emotionally burdensome).

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.


Have you recently received a fine that you believe was wrongly or unjustly issued? Or are you not in a financial position to be able to pay the fine?

There may be a way that GCLS can help your situation. GCLS have worked with Wonthaggi clients in the past who have received unjustly-issued fines. The team at GCLS provide high quality advice and negotiation in order to dispute the fine.

For example, let’s say you received a fine, but the infringement was considerably influenced by another area of the law affecting you, such as family violence. GCLS can work alongside you to prove that the family violence incident substantially contributed to infringement, disputing the fine.

GCLS care about disputing fines that have been issued to Wonthaggi and 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.

Many other areas of law

Gippsland Community Legal Service are here for all members of the Wonthaggi community. We have helped Wonthaggi residents with legal issues other than the ones mentioned here. Whatever your concern, you’ll find help through GCLS, offering comprehensive legal advice, completely free of charge. Get in touch with the friendly team at GCLS and help us to help you today.

Gippsland Community Legal Service