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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Free legal help extended to Queensland cyclone victims

    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Friday, February 11, 2011

    Free legal help extended to Queensland cyclone victims

    The Queensland Government and key legal organisations are extending their free legal information and advice services to Queenslanders affected by cyclones Anthony and Yasi.

    Attorney-General Cameron Dick said the services would be provided by Legal Aid Queensland, the Queensland Law Society, Queensland Association of Independent Legal Services, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service and other organisations.

    “Northern communities that bore the brunt of cyclones Anthony and Yasi will now have access to the free legal advice and information services established to help people affected by the recent floods in south-east Queensland,” Mr Dick said.

    “After the debris has been cleared, people in cyclone-hit areas will have a range of legal matters to deal with in coming months, such as issues with insurance, tenancy agreements, and access to electricity and other services damaged by the cyclone.”

    Queensland’s Flood and Cyclone Legal Help Service is being coordinated by Legal Aid Queensland, which is working with lawyers in the Townsville and Cairns regions to offer free legal help to affected communities.

    Legal Aid Queensland CEO Anthony Reilly said people in cyclone-affected areas could contact Legal Aid Queensland on 1300 65 11 88 for the cost of a local call to get free legal information or advice, or be referred to another organisation that could help them with their problems.

    “Legal Aid Queensland will also be running free legal advice forums for local communities in the coming months where members of the public can come along and receive information relevant to their legal problem,” Mr Reilly said.

    “We’ve already held a number of community forums for people affected by the Queensland floods where people have been able to ask lawyers questions about their insurance claims, and we expect that people affected by the cyclones will have similar issues.”

    Caxton Legal Service director Scott McDougall urged people affected by floods and cyclones who were having trouble with insurers to use the free legal service, because insurance issues were effectively legal issues.

    “We are urging people to lodge an insurance claim, even if they have been advised that their claim will be unsuccessful,” Mr McDougall.

    “If your claim is rejected, you will at least have a written explanation that could then form the basis of subsequent legal action.”

    For more information about the community forums or to access legal publications covering flood and cyclone-related issues, visit the Flood and Cyclone Legal Help website at

    Media contact:
    - Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister: 3239 3487
    - Legal Aid Queensland: 3238 3004
    - Scott McDougall, Caxton Legal Service 0400 547 390