Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

NBN to support access to Tasmanian Legal Services

Better legal assistance is on the way for Tasmanians as local lawyers will soon come ‘face-to-face’ with their Melbourne and Sydney counterparts through the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and the Member for Franklin Julie Collins today announced that Tasmania would be one of the first areas to benefit from the NBN legal assistance partnerships.

Hobart Community Legal Service has been granted $59,700 to provide online legal assistance services in Sorell and Hobart in collaboration with the National Pro Bono Resource Centre.

“All Australians, no matter where they live, should have access to quality community legal services,” Ms Roxon said.

“Through this program, the NBN will help to build a digital bridge over the legal divide between regional and metropolitan Australia, helping to provide better community legal services.”

Federal Minister for Community Services, Julie Collins, said the funding allocation to the Hobart Community Legal Service will help show how the NBN can help Tasmanians access legal services.

“This is an exciting way to show how the NBN can deliver legal assistance services to regional and remote areas of the state,” Ms Collins said.

“We hope that this assistance will help to identify new ways of providing legal assistance and sharing knowledge between the Tasmania and the major legal centres of Melbourne and Sydney.”

Federal Member for Lyons, Dick Adams, said the Hobart Community Legal Service project will enhance the existing legal service delivery at Sorell and across the Hobart region.

“This will provide the Hobart Community Legal Service office through a collaborative partnership with the National Pro Bono Resource Centre more services provided to clients.

Through purchasing equipment and partnership with National Pro Bono Resource Centre who will provide pro bono lawyers to be available online, the project will provide high quality face to face legal advice service via video conferencing where documents can be easily scanned and perused by the lawyers online in their offices in Melbourne and Sydney as well as support for the existing solicitor working at this outreach location.

This program provides funding to support NBN-based trials to increase access to legal assistance in regional areas where it can often be limited.

For more information, including the NBN Program Guidelines, please see the NBN website: