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COVID-19: Free help for pandemic legal issues

15 Apr 2020

The NSW Government, in partnership with Legal Aid NSW and Law Access NSW, has launched a free legal help service for people facing legal issues under the COVID-19 public health laws.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the NSW Government is delivering the service in response to the wide range of new legal issues arising from the pandemic.

“These issues can include job losses, social security entitlements, family law issues regarding arrangements for children and matters related to new public health laws,” Mr Speakman said.

“We understand that because of the sudden introduction of these laws, people will have questions about them and associated penalties. It’s important people understand their rights and obligations, to enable us to fight the coronavirus together.

“We know these new public health restrictions are challenging for our community. It is important we stay at home, only going out for essential reasons.”

People concerned about these issues can call Law Access or visit the website for help. A webchat facility is under construction to further increase access for vulnerable people who are less likely to make a phone call.

Legal Aid NSW CEO Brendan Thomas said this would complement helpful tip sheets on a range of COVID-19 related legal issues already on the Legal Aid NSW website dealing with the pandemic – including information on Public Health Orders.

“The current circumstances mean that many people are facing some urgent problems in their life where they need fast practical help,” Mr Thomas said.

“Like if they have just lost their job, need to know what entitlements they can access, need to change court orders so they can see their children or have been fined for being out and about. We can help people with all of that.”

People needing legal help related to COVID-19 can access the service by calling 1300 888 529 between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, or by visiting www.lawaccess.nsw.gov.au

Download the full media release below.