Darwin Community Legal Service

DCLS, along with Katherine Women’s Legal Service and the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency met recently with the Attorney-General, the Hon Natasha Fyles MP to raise concerns about support and representation for participants in guardianship proceedings. The NT has the highest numbers of people under public guardianship of any state and territory with 78% of those identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders and 50% suffering permanent disability. Although changes to guardianship law have been fairly recent the NT lags way behind other jurisdictions in supporting people in guardianship proceedings and does not provide a right or access to representation.

The Attorney-General indicated a willingness to explore solutions in the area and DCLS have since been meeting with the Office of the Public Guardian and the NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal to try and find a way forward.

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