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Lawyers in NSW libraries to bring law to life this Law Week

9 May 2022

People with disability, their loved ones and carers will be empowered to know their rights when dealing with National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) service-providers thanks to a series of free talks at libraries across NSW during Law Week 2022.

Legal Aid NSW has partnered with the State Library of NSW and community legal centres to deliver accessible, informative Law Week presentations on two big topics – ‘Navigating the system’, which will help people understand their legal rights when dealing with a range of government agencies and services, and ‘Dealing with NDIS service-providers’, which will explore consumer rights, contracts and other important information for people buying products or services through the NDIS.

This year’s Law Week program puts lawyers on the ground in public libraries across NSW between 16–22 May and will be complemented by online sessions.

Legal Aid NSW provided more than 55,000 legal services to people who needed help with Centrelink decisions, the NDIS, consumer rights and other everyday legal issues in 2020– 20211, according to Acting CEO Monique Hitter.

1 Legal Aid NSW provided 55,869 civil law services to clients in 2020–2021 based on total casework, including extended legal assistance and early resolution assistance services, but not including information services.

“Research tells us people will often turn to well-meaning friends or family members when they run into a legal problem – or they may even do nothing,” Ms Hitter said.

“Providing trusted, accurate information about these topics and letting people know where to go if they can’t resolve a dispute themselves can have a lasting, positive impact on some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”

State Librarian John Vallance said the sessions would build on the State Library’s Find Legal Answers service, a partnership with NSW public libraries providing legal information to answer common questions about the law.

“These Law Week events allow lawyers to share their expertise with their local communities and cut through the noise by providing information on topics that are relevant to all of us,” Dr Vallance said.

Legal Aid NSW media contact: (02) 9213 5208 or media@legalaid.nsw.gov.au

Editors note

For more details about Law Week 2022 events in NSW communities and online, visit www.lawweeknsw.org.au. Libraries may host online webinars or in-person events. Session availability is subject to change. This year sessions will focus on the following topics.

Navigating the system: learn about accessing Ombudsman services

Decisions made by government agencies and services like Centrelink or health services can have a major impact on you. Hear from a Legal Aid NSW lawyer about how to make complaints and dispute decisions including who can help if you can’t resolve the situation yourself.

To complement our events during Law Week, Legal Aid NSW will also be hosting a special online panel discussion on 24 May 2022 featuring representatives from the Energy and Water Ombudsman (EWON), the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) and the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. This webinar event is a must for community workers, financial counsellors and other advocates assisting consumers. Register online.

Dealing with NDIS service providers – what are my rights?

Buying products and services through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be confusing, especially if you have never done it before. It is important that you know your rights if something goes wrong. Hear from a Legal Aid NSW lawyer about your consumer rights, contracts and guarantees and who can help if you are not happy with the service and can’t resolve the issue yourself.

Participating libraries include Albury LibraryMuseum, Bankstown Library and Knowledge Centre, Bega Valley Shire Library, Berrigan Shire Library Service, Blue Mountains Library, Broken Hill City Library, Burwood Library, Byron Bay Library, Camden Libraries, Central West Libraries, Cessnock City Library, Coffs Harbour Libraries, Dubbo Library, Eurobodalla Council Libraries, Georges River Council Libraries, Gilgandra Library, Goulburn Mulwaree Library, Hawkesbury Library Service, Hilltops Council Library Service, Hornsby Shire Library and Information Service, Inverell Shire Public Library, Ku-ring-gai Library, Lane Cove Library, Lithgow Library, Macquarie Regional Library, Mathoura Library, Mid-Western Regional Council Libraries, Mosman Library, Murray River Council Libraries (Barham Library), Muswellbrook Shire Libraries, Narromine Library, Northern Beaches Council Libraries, Penrith Library, Quirindi Library, Randwick City Library, Richmond Tweed Regional Library, Ryde Library, Shoalhaven Libraries, Strathfield Council Library and Innovation Hub, Sutherland Shire Libraries, Talbingo Library, Tamworth Library, The Hills Shire Library, Upper Lachlan Shire Libraries, Uralla Library, Urunga Library, Wagga Wagga City Library, Waverley Library, Werris Creek Library, Whitlam Cabramatta Library, Willoughby Library, Wingecarribee Library and Wollondilly Library.