2019–20 annual report

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1. Letter of compliance

31 August 2020

The Hon Yvette D’Ath MP
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
1 William Street
Brisbane Qld 4000

Dear Attorney

I am pleased to submit for presentation to the Parliament the Annual Report 2019–20 and financial statements for Legal Aid Queensland.

I certify this annual report complies with:

  • the prescribed requirements of the Financial Accountability Act 2009 and the Financial and Performance
    Management Standard 2019
  • the detailed requirements set out in the Annual report requirements for Queensland Government agencies.

A checklist outlining the annual reporting requirements is provided at page 117 of this annual report.

Yours sincerely

Margaret McMurdo Signature

The Hon Margaret McMurdo AC
Chairperson, Legal Aid Queensland Board

2. Chairperson's report

As chair of the Legal Aid Queensland Board, I am delighted to introduce our annual report for 2019–20.

It has been an honour to work with the Legal Aid Queensland Board, management team and staff this reporting year and I am delighted Joshua Creamer and I have been recently reappointed to serve for a further three years.

This report highlights Legal Aid Queensland’s milestones, achievements and challenges over the past year as we continued to deliver our important work across this vast decentralised and culturally diverse state, providing quality, cost effective frontline legal services to those in need. Despite my close familiarity with the organisation, each time I read our annual report I am in awe at the extent and diversity of services we provide on our limited budget.

This year, we have been confronted with the unexpected—drought, bushfires and the first pandemic in more than a century. I am especially proud of how our organisation met the challenges of COVID-19 and worked so well with the rest of the justice system to keep our community functioning in lockdown.

This year’s report begins by outlining the progress Legal Aid Queensland made in the first half of the financial year to innovate, strengthen and improve access to justice for Queensland’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged community members.

I especially highlight Legal Aid Queensland’s development and implementation of a Youth Practitioner Certification training program. This will ensure the state’s youth justice lawyers who attended training sessions, either online or in person at 16 locations around Queensland, are best served to represent our at risk young people. I am immensely proud Legal Aid Queensland’s Youth Legal Aid team has embarked on this innovative knowledge-sharing which will increase youth justice lawyers’ understanding and awareness of cultural capability, developmental psychology and impairment, trauma, speech and language, and general competence in youth justice legislation. It will bring significant positive and lasting outcomes for young people in Queensland’s justice system.

In the second half of this reporting year, Legal Aid Queensland’s focus shifted to the COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery. Our lawyers and staff worked closely with the courts and our clients in a vastly changed working environment to maintain vital services while keeping our communities safe during the pandemic.

Although we cannot claim to have predicted this pandemic, our long-term risk prevention and strategic planning and our investment in IT infrastructure placed us in an excellent position to meet the unexpected. I thank our Audit Risk and Compliance Committee, chaired by board member Sandra Deane, and board and committee member Lucia Taylor, for their contribution to risk management. I also thank our chief information officer, Andrew Michajlow, and all staff and suppliers who have worked so hard during this time, quickly adapting our processes to ensure Legal Aid Queensland continued to almost seamlessly maintain our services to those in need. The organisation’s transformation to a work from home model within one week, including the remote approvals of grants of aid, was extraordinary.

Our Communication and Community Legal Education Team, led by Amanda Catania, kept everyone engaged as an organisation and in fine spirits.

The possibilities arising from adopting some long-term work from home arrangements on Legal Aid Queensland’s office accommodation needs will be monitored by our Accommodation Committee chaired by board member Allan Welsh during the coming year.

Towards the end of the reporting year, the Black Lives Matter movement shone the spotlight on human rights and racism, both internationally and locally. Queensland (along with the rest of the country) continues to witness over-representation of First Nations people in our criminal justice and child protection systems. The federal government’s recent Closing the Gap Partnership Agreement with state governments sets clear targets to decrease levels of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration and children in out of home care, as well as other health and wellbeing targets. Hopefully, this will contribute to a genuine improvement in the lives of current and future generations of First Nations people.

Legal Aid Queensland’s First Nations Advisory Committee, chaired by Joshua Creamer, is already striving to achieve these very outcomes. During the reporting year, the committee has implemented and refined our First Nations Strategic Plan launched in 2018. The plan’s four objectives are to increase awareness and accessibility of legal aid services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; to be a centre of excellence for culturally capable legal services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; to be a significant employer within the legal profession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; and to contribute to developing a more equitable justice system that addresses the disparity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the broader legal profession.

Our staff have worked hard over the past year to build partnerships within our organisation and the legal and broader communities to provide a more inclusive, accessible and culturally sensitive and safe workplace for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and clients. The organisation has also enhanced its cultural awareness through a series of excellent presentations from highly regarded Northern Territory academic, lawyer and linguist, Benjamin Grimes. Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Plan has contributed to an increase in the number of First Nations employees (now 4.59 percent of staff) compared with 4.08 percent in 2018–19.

Thanks to both the federal and state governments—the disasters experienced over this reporting year have resulted in a commitment to a much needed and much appreciated injection of vital funding to Legal Aid Queensland.

In 2020–21, Legal Aid Queensland will receive funds for our Bushfire Legal Help service to those communities so badly affected during the fires. And in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, our frontline legal assistance service delivery will receive resourcing to help vulnerable and disadvantaged community members affected by the pandemic. These extra funds will allow us to provide extra services in the short term to counter what is already recognised as the dreadful fallout from this pandemic—unemployment, financial stress and domestic and family violence. Despite this welcome additional funding in the coming year, it is likely community need will see our services stretched even more tightly during 2020–21.

Finally, my heartfelt congratulations to Legal Aid Queensland’s former CEO, Anthony Reilly, who was appointed Queensland Ombudsman in July 2020. Thank you, Anthony, for your outstanding stewardship of Legal Aid Queensland over the past 10 years. You can be rightly proud of your contribution to this special organisation which plays an integral role in the justice system. The board has greatly benefited from your effective, collaborative, innovative and visionary management style. You will be deeply missed by the entire organisation. On behalf of the board and personally, I wish you and your family the very best in this exciting new stage of your impressive career of public service.

My warmest congratulations and thanks to Legal Aid Queensland’s Legal Practice senior director, Nicky Davies, who unhesitatingly stepped up to act as CEO. Nicky has experience acting in the role and is superbly placed to fill it until the new CEO is appointed. She will be well supported by our excellent senior management team.

There are so many who have contributed to Legal Aid Queensland’s pleasing performance this year. I thank the members of Queensland’s legal profession, particularly our hard-working service providers and our wonderful community legal centres. I gratefully acknowledge the vital ongoing support, financially and more broadly, of the federal Attorney-General, the Hon Christian Porter MP, and the Queensland Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Leader of the House, the Hon Yvette D’Ath MP, and warmly thank them for it. And I thank the hard working and capable members of our board, our fine management team and the dedicated lawyers and staff on whose shoulders Legal Aid Queensland stands. I very much look forward to again working with them in 2020–21 for the benefit of Legal Aid Queensland’s clients, the justice system and the people of Queensland.

Margaret McMurdo's Signature

Margaret McMurdo AC
Chairperson, Legal Aid Queensland Board

3. Chief executive officers report

Legal Aid Queensland has overcome many challenges during its 41 years, but 2020 was the first time we had to confront a worldwide pandemic. As always, we did so with characteristic grit, compassion and innovation.

In the first part of 2019–20, the organisation continued to work towards achieving the objectives set out in our strategic and operational plans. We were also guided by the Queensland public service values—customers first, ideas into action, unleash potential, be courageous and empower people.

We started new service delivery initiatives, including:

  • trialling lawyer assisted mediation for family law property matters
  • a scheme for legal representation for parties subject
    to the ban on cross-examination in family law matters
  • a national helpline for Your Story Disability Legal Support, the national legal advice service for people who want to share their story with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

We improved our response to people most at risk of social exclusion by:

  • implementing a Client Assistance Service in our contact centre
  • ensuring our compliance with the Human Rights Act
  • developing the 2020–21 First Nations Operational Plan.

By rolling out these programs, along with our youth justice practitioner certification program, and a separate representative and child protection masterclass, we continued to build a centre of excellence in our legal practice disciplines.

We enhanced our business capability this year by upgrading our information technology standard operating environment to Windows 10 and Office 365, and developing a new Information Communication and Technology strategic plan and roadmap.

These improvements happened while we continued to experience growth in demand for core legal representation services, particularly in the areas of child protection and criminal law, that created financial and administrative challenges as the year progressed.

And then, in early 2020, along came the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic had a big impact on the broader legal system and our operations, causing us to pursue a rapid organisational change program to ensure services could continue to be delivered safely.

Our contact centre expanded its role to become a statewide hub for duty lawyer inquiries as well as legal information services. Legal advice services were provided by telephone. While duty lawyer services were heavily impacted, we continued to provide a telephone service, including interviewing watch-house detainees, and where technology was available a videoconference service. Applications for grants of aid continued to be processed, including additional grants of aid for Supreme Court bail applications. Our lawyers continued to physically attend court where it was safe to do so. In family law matters, lawyers conducted hearings and dispute resolution conferences via Microsoft Teams software. Our community legal education team continued to deliver webinars on key legal topics.

This massive change program was backed up by our business support teams which provided crucial support including expanded information technology services to facilitate work from home arrangements, records processing and workplace health and safety initiatives.

My thanks go out to Legal Aid Queensland staff, and our colleagues in the courts, government and private legal profession who worked closely with us to traverse these difficult circumstances.

At the time of writing this report, I had been appointed to the role of Queensland Ombudsman, starting from 10 July 2020. Nicky Davies, who was appointed to the role of acting chief executive officer following my appointment, will do a wonderful job leading the organisation through these difficult times.

I would like to express my appreciation to the Hon Margaret McMurdo AC for her leadership of Legal Aid Queensland through her role as board chairperson, a role she will thankfully continue to fulfil for a further three years. I also extend my appreciation to our Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, the Hon Yvette D’Ath MP for her strong support for the organisation and access to justice over many years.

I wish Legal Aid Queensland all the best in the years ahead. Leading this organisation was a great privilege. I salute its wonderful people and say thank you for inspiring me every day through your passion for achieving a just and fair society.

Anthony Reilly's signature

Anthony Reilly
Chief executive officer

4. COVID19 service delivery

In March 2020, we were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and our approach to responding to this was to protect the health and safety of staff, clients and stakeholders through managing work, health and safety risks and to maintain service delivery.

Following government advice, we successfully transitioned our staff to work from home. We also made changes to the way we performed our work to ensure we could continue to provide business support activities and legal services to financially disadvantaged Queenslanders.

We delivered community legal education to community workers and the public by video and online. We delivered legal information, legal advice and duty lawyer services remotely by telephone and videoconferencing, as were services to clients in prisons. Where possible, we delivered legal representation services remotely, but where social distancing and hygiene practices could be implemented, we provided face-to-face services to get instructions from clients and to provide representation in courts. During COVID-19, demand for grants of aid reduced.

Our COVID-19 pandemic response and planning for recovery were informed by identified potential risks arising from implementing and eventually relaxing social restrictions and the need to continue to provide our services in an environment where social and economic problems drive increased demand for our services. We implemented risk-based internal controls throughout our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We worked closely with the Department of Justice and Attorney-General to help ensure court facilities were COVID-19 safe when some restrictions were eased, and duty lawyers returned to most Magistrates Courts across Queensland to provide face-to-face services from mid-June 2020.

5. Corporate governance

Corporate governance is the system by which our organisation is managed, directed and held accountable.

Sound corporate governance means:

  • achieving our strategic objectives
  • being accountable for our decisions and actions
  • fulfilling legal requirements
  • ensuring the Legal Aid Queensland Act’s requirements and philosophy are met
  • managing risks
  • monitoring, reporting on and evaluating our performance
  • meeting government and community expectations.

Our corporate governance structure provides leadership in achieving our strategic and operational objectives (see Figure 1 for more information).

Figure 1 Corporate governance structure

Figure 1. Corporate governance structure

Legal Aid Queensland Board

The Legal Aid Queensland Board (the board) is responsible for governing Legal Aid Queensland and ensuring the organisation achieves its objectives. The board is our organisation’s governing body and is responsible to the Attorney-General.

The board decides the organisation’s priorities and strategies, leads policy direction and ensures sound and prudent financial management.

The board usually has five members. Each member has specific knowledge or experience that helps in the organisation’s management. The areas of expertise include public administration, financial management, and law and legal services provision. The board is headed by a chairperson, who is appointed by the Governor in Council. Board members are appointed by the Governor in Council for three-year terms. The board met on 10 occasions in 2019–20 (see Table 1 for more information). The chief executive officer (CEO) and the senior directors (and formerly the deputy CEO) are invited to attend all board meetings. Executive Management Team directors also attend as needed to present papers and discuss issues with the board.

Board members (as at 30 June 2019)

Margaret McMurdo AC
Board chairperson since May 2017

Margaret McMurdo was appointed President, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Queensland from 1998 until 2017 and was Acting Chief Justice of Queensland in 2015.

Margaret graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland in 1976. She began her legal career as a student volunteer in 1974 with the newly formed Aboriginal Legal Service.

In 1976, she became the first female paralegal in the Public Defender’s Office. She was admitted as a barrister in December 1976 and was an Assistant Public Defender from 1977 to 1989. She practised at the Bar from 1989 until 1991 when she was appointed to the District Court of Queensland. In 1993, she also held a commission as a Childrens Court judge.

Margaret has been awarded a number of honorary doctorates and is a founding Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and a member of the American Law Institute. She is patron of Women’s Legal Service, Caxton Legal Service and LawRight’s Civil Justice Fund. In 2017, Margaret was appointed chair of the Board of Governors of Queensland Community Foundation, the state’s largest public perpetual charitable trust. Margaret has been chairing the Victorian Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informers since December 2018.

Allan Welsh
Board member since July 2008

Allan Welsh has led major projects in the public and private sectors for the past 20 years, with extensive experience in managing capital infrastructure, information and business system projects and events. He was awarded a Public Service Medal in the 2008 Australian Honours for his work in managing capital projects in the arts sector.

Sandra Deane
Board member since September 2014

Sandra Deane is an experienced board member, tribunal member and an independent consultant in the energy and legal sectors with extensive private and public sector experience. She brings experience from senior positions (including as CEO) in the corporate (publicly listed, large private and government-owned corporations) and professional (legal) sectors. Sandra was admitted as a solicitor in 1988 and has more than 20 years’ experience in legal practice in corporate and private practice and tribunal roles. She also has more than 15 years’ experience in the energy sector. She brings professional expertise in contract management and negotiation, dispute resolution and compliance. She is currently an external Audit and Compliance Committee Member of the Local Government Association of Queensland Limited and is a part-time member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Joshua Creamer
Board member since July 2017

Joshua is a descendant of the Waanyi and Kalkadoon nations from North West Queensland. He has been practising as a barrister since 2011. In 2009, Joshua was an Associate to the late Honourable Justice Peter Dutney in the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Joshua has developed a strong reputation as one of the leading lawyers in the country in matters that involve Indigenous Australians. In 2017, Joshua was awarded the National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year Award. In 2016, he was recognised by Chambers Asia-Pacific as one of Australia’s Outstanding Young Lawyers. In 2013, Joshua received the Griffith University, Outstanding Arts, Education and Law, Young Alumnus of the Year Award. In 2008, he was awarded Griffith University’s Rubin Hurricane Carter Award for Commitment to Social Justice.

Lucia Taylor
Board member since August 2018

Lucia Taylor was admitted as a solicitor in 1991 and is an experienced family law practitioner based in Townsville. She has extensive experience having undertaken administrative decisions for the Child Support Agency for 17 years. Lucia was appointed a Queensland Law Society, Senior Counsellor in 2016 and in 2017 became a member of the James Cook University Human Research Ethics Committee. She has held key positions on community groups including the Townsville Community Legal Service, Zonta, Headspace Townsville and more recently the Queensland Community Foundation, North Queensland Sub-Committee. Lucia practises primarily in the North Queensland region.

Legal Aid Queensland Board

Act or instrument

Legal Aid Queensland Act 1997


Responsible for governing Legal Aid Queensland and ensuring the organisation achieves its objectives. The board decides the organisation’s priorities and strategies, leads policy direction and ensures sound and prudent financial management.


Key achievements included:

  • approving the draft Legal Aid Queensland Operational Plan 2019–20 and draft Strategic Plan 2020–24
  • approving the internal audit strategy
  • monitoring work, health and safety incidents and implementation of the workforce plan, ICT strategic plan
    and financial strategy
  • approving changes to Legal Aid Queensland’s organisational structure
  • endorsing the ‘working smarter’ review of Legal Aid Queensland services to investigate how services can
    be delivered more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Financial reporting

Not exempted from Audit by the Auditor-General and transactions of the entity are accounted for in the financial statements.




Meetings/sessions attendance

annual fee $

fees if applicable $

Actual fees

Board chairperson

Margaret McMurdo

(11 board meetings)




Board member, Accommodation Committee chairman

Allan Welsh

(9 board meetings, 4 sub-committee meetings)




Board member, Audit, Risk & Compliance Committee chairman

Sandra Deane

(11 board meetings, 4 sub-committee meetings)




Board member, First Nations Committee chairman

Joshua Creamer

(11 board meetings, 3 sub-committee meetings)




Board member, Audit, Risk & Compliance Committee member

Lucia Taylor

(11 board meetings, 4 sub-committee meetings)




No. scheduled

22 (11 board meetings and 11 sub-committee meetings)

Total out of pocket expenses


Table 1. Legal Aid Queensland Board information 2019–20

Accommodation Committee

The Accommodation Committee is a sub-committee of the Legal Aid Queensland Board and acts in an advisory capacity to the board. The committee assesses our long-term accommodation needs and options for office operations throughout the state.

The committee’s responsibilities include:

  • assessing and making recommendations about the continued ownership and refurbishment needs of our Brisbane head office at 44 Herschel Street
  • assessing sale, purchase and/or leasing options for our Brisbane central business district occupancy needs
  • engaging with relevant stakeholders about our accommodation options
  • providing advice and assessing the impact of our Brisbane head office’s land and building valuation
  • considering significant issues relating to regional office accommodation
  • determining the timeframe for the committee’s tenure
  • engaging external contractors to help with assessments as needed.

The committee comprises Legal Aid Queensland Board member Allan Welsh (chairman).

The meeting is also attended by:

  • CEO Anthony Reilly
  • Business Support senior director Ian Warren
  • Legal Practice senior director Nicky Davies
  • Chief finance officer (CFO) Gavin Holdway
  • Facilities and procurement manager Terry Kelly.

Allan Welsh is the board member appointed to the committee and received remuneration for his attendance and representation in addition to the remuneration he received for attending board meetings.

Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee

The Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee is a sub-committee of the Legal Aid Queensland Board and acts in a review and advisory capacity to the board. The committee provides independent assurance and assistance to the board on our financial administration and reporting, audit control and independence, legal compliance, internal controls, and risk oversight and management.

The committee’s key achievements in 2019–20 included:

  • continuing to review the charter annually to ensure ongoing effectiveness of the committee’s authority, objectives and responsibilities
  • reviewing the 2018–19 end of financial year statements before signing by the board chairperson and CFO
  • reviewing the external auditor’s recommendations from the 2018–19 audit and 2019–20 interim audit
  • reviewing the organisation’s strategic risks register and overseeing the register’s maintenance
  • reviewing the compliance assurance tools and endorsing the ongoing bi-annual compliance reporting program.

The committee comprises:

  • Legal Aid Queensland Board member Sandra Deane (chairman)
  • Legal Aid Queensland Board member Lucia Taylor
  • a Queensland Treasury representative
  • a Department of Justice and Attorney-General Financial Services representative
  • Alison D’Costa, external committee member, independent audit and risk specialist (1 July 2019 – 12 November 2019)
  • Jeanette Shanahan, external committee member, independent financial management, regulatory compliance and audit practices specialist.

Sandra Deane and Lucia Taylor are board members appointed to the committee and received remuneration for their attendance and representation in addition to the remuneration they received for attending board meetings. There are three other external committee members. The representatives from Queensland Treasury and the Department of Justice and Attorney-General are public servants and did not receive remuneration for attending meetings. External committee member Alison D’Costa received $500 remuneration in 2019–20.

The meeting is also attended by:

  • CEO Anthony Reilly
  • Business Support senior director Ian Warren
  • CFO Gavin Holdway
  • Governance manager Stephen Shirvington.

The committee operated in line with its charter and met four times during the year. The charter is based on Queensland Treasury’s Audit Committee Guidelines and s30 of the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2019.

First Nations Advisory Committee

The First Nations Advisory Committee is a sub-committee of the Legal Aid Queensland Board and acts in an advisory capacity to the board. The committee leads the ongoing development of Legal Aid Queensland’s cultural capability in providing best practice legal services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The committee’s responsibilities include:

  • monitoring the First Nations Strategic Plan 2018–22
  • reporting to the board about the plan’s implementation
  • providing advice to the board about issues relating
    to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander strategies
    and policies.

The committee comprises:

  • Legal Aid Queensland Board member Joshua Creamer (chairman)
  • representatives from two community organisations that provide general help to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • an Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland representative
  • two Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee representatives—one lawyer and one administrative officer.

Other stakeholders and staff members attend meetings to provide specialist advice on matters as needed.

Joshua Creamer is a board member appointed to the committee and received remuneration for his attendance and representation in addition to the remuneration he received for attending board meetings.

Executive Management Team

The Legal Aid Queensland Act 1997 creates the position of CEO and gives the position responsibility, under the board, for managing Legal Aid Queensland’s day-to-day administration, providing legal services to legally assisted people, and arranging and supervising the legal services provided by Legal Aid Queensland lawyers.

The CEO is supported in this role by the Executive Management Team. The team’s functions are to:

  • monitor our strategies, activities and performance to ensure legal assistance is provided to financially disadvantaged people in the most effective, efficient and economical way
  • review and approve policies and standards and ensure these are implemented so we meet our statutory obligations
  • ensure management systems and practices are effective and reflect ethics obligations and the Code of Conduct
  • oversee our budget and monitor financial performance
  • promote, sponsor and develop a culture of risk management, service delivery improvement and innovation to ensure we have an organisational culture and environment that attracts and retains high-performing employees
  • consider and make decisions on significant issues affecting the organisation
  • communicate important information to staff.

The team meets fortnightly and comprises:

  • CEO Anthony Reilly
  • Legal Practice senior director Nicky Davies
  • Family Law and Civil Justice Services director Toni Bell
  • Criminal Law Services director Peter Delibaltas
  • Public Defender Rob East
  • Grants director Louise Martin
  • Business Support senior director Ian Warren
  • Information and Advice Services director Katrina Smith
  • CFO Gavin Holdway
  • Communication and Community Legal Education manager Amanda Catania.

The meeting is also attended by Governance manager Stephen Shirvington.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee monitors and reviews our financial, budget and performance processes.

The committee’s responsibilities include:

  • overseeing the annual budget preparation and recommending its endorsement by the CEO and approval by the board
  • ensuring our budget is framed to maximise achieving objectives outlined in our strategic plan and government priorities
  • ensuring the budget is effectively managed so we achieve budget targets and comply with government requirements
  • monitoring and reporting on our financial performance and position, identifying key financial performance drivers and establishing measures for determining success
  • monitoring compliance with external financial reporting requirements.

The committee comprises:

  • CEO Anthony Reilly (chairman)
  • Legal Practice senior director Nicky Davies
  • Business Support senior director Ian Warren
  • Grants director Louise Martin
  • CFO Gavin Holdway.

The meeting is also attended by:

  • Financial Services and Business Analysis manager Melissa Gill
  • Principal financial accountant Yin Mand Ng.

Information Communication and Technology Steering Committee

The Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Steering Committee ensures information technology (IT) and communication operations, investments and initiatives are aligned with Legal Aid Queensland’s strategic objective of building on our business capability and sustainability.

The committee’s responsibilities include:

  • providing corporate governance for planning, approving and prioritising significant ICT investments and initiatives
  • ensuring whole-of-organisation coordination and oversight of ICT and its deployment within the organisation
  • ensuring ICT investments and initiative proposals:
    • are and remain consistent with the organisation’s strategic plan, priorities, budget strategy and resourcing capability
    • are responsive to identified client and staff needs
    • fully consider people management, change management and communication priorities
  • ensuring whole-of-organisation engagement with the organisation’s ICT priorities and challenges
  • monitoring IT service delivery performance against approved targets and initiating corrective action where needed.

The committee comprises:

  • CEO Anthony Reilly (chairman)
  • Legal Practice senior director Nicky Davies
  • Business Support senior director Ian Warren
  • Grants director Louise Martin
  • Information and Advice Services director Katrina Smith
  • Chief information officer Andrew Michajlow
  • Records and Information Management manager Nancy Taia
  • a Department of Justice and Attorney-General representative.

The meeting is also attended by:

  • Communication and Community Legal Education manager Amanda Catania
  • Technical operations manager Paul Ninnes
  • Business engagement manager Rae Fletcher
  • Principal facilities and procurement officer Jeffrey Patterson.

People, Culture and Capability Committee

The People, Culture and Capability (PCC) Committee determines Legal Aid Queensland’s approach to support the strategic objective of building on our business capability and sustainability. The committee considers organisational issues relating to resourcing, performance, structure, culture and skills development, and aims to meet organisational needs while engaging employees.

The committee’s responsibilities include:

  • guiding our workforce plan’s development, monitoring and evaluation
  • ensuring resource levels, mix and allocation adequately support the organisation’s current and future needs
  • maintaining an awareness of PCC trends, assessing their applicability for Legal Aid Queensland and implementing initiatives for continuous improvement
  • approving new and updated PCC policies and procedures in line with the strategic framework
  • noting operational PCC metrics and key performance indicators
  • encouraging a culture of performance through active people management and development
  • ensuring the organisation complies with relevant legislation and directives.

The committee comprises:

  • CEO Anthony Reilly (chairman)
  • Legal Practice senior director Nicky Davies
  • Business Support senior director Ian Warren
  • Criminal Law Services director Peter Delibaltas
  • Grants director Louise Martin
  • Information and Advice Services director Katrina Smith
  • Family Law and Civil Justice Services director Toni Bell
  • PCC assistant director Kelly Camden
  • Senior advisor Margaret Hornagold.

Work, Health and Safety Committee

The Work, Health and Safety Committee provides a consultative forum (with particular reference to the requirements of the Work, Health and Safety Act 2011) that can effectively address arising health and safety matters as well as recommend proactive initiatives to promote health and safety in Legal Aid Queensland.

The committee’s responsibilities include:

  • helping to develop, monitor and review health and safety policies and procedures
  • considering proposals for, or changes to, the workplace, policies, work practices or procedures, which may affect the health and safety of employees
  • considering measures for training and educating employees about health and safety
  • promoting the importance of health and safety among management and employees
  • monitoring Legal Aid Queensland’s health and safety performance
  • reviewing the circumstances surrounding workplace incidents and hazards referred to the committee for review
  • helping to resolve health and safety issues.

The committee comprises:

  • Principal consultant (Work Health and Safety) Rosemary Mason (chair)
  • Business Support senior director Ian Warren (management representative)
  • Senior lawyer Darren Lewis (southern regional offices representative)
  • Criminal lawyer Craig Ryan (northern regional offices representative)
  • Lawyer Jason Czinki (Basement/Ground – 44 Herschel St Brisbane)
  • Senior consultant (rehabilitation) Janice Hawes (Level 1/2 – 44 Herschel St Brisbane)
  • Criminal Law Services coordinator Patrick O’Brien (Level 3/4 – 44 Herschel St Brisbane)
  • litigation support officer Christopher Pell (420 George St Brisbane)
  • Conference organiser Merrilyn Cox (193 North Quay Brisbane)
  • Principal procurement and facilities officer Jeffrey Patterson
  • Senior procurement and facilities officer Delina Smail
  • Facilities and assets officer Emma Vallance (Brisbane representative)
  • Security officer
  • HR officer Jenni Nobbs (secretariat).

External scrutiny

We are subject to all of the external accountability mechanisms that apply to a statutory body in Queensland, including regular budget and performance updates with Queensland Treasury and the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.

Accountability mechanisms that complement the internal corporate governance framework include:

  • external audit and certification
  • judicial review of administrative decisions
  • the Queensland Ombudsman
  • the Crime and Corruption Commission Queensland
  • Parliamentary Estimates Committee Hearings
  • the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee
  • the Legal Services Commission
  • public performance reporting, for example, through this annual report and the annual Service Delivery Statement.

Human Rights Act

The key provisions of the Human Rights Act 2019 began on 1 January 2020. The Act’s main objects are to:

  • protect and promote human rights
  • help build a culture in the Queensland public sector that respects and promotes human rights
  • help promote a dialogue about the nature, meaning and scope of human rights.

Legal Aid Queensland is committed to human rights principles. To fulfil this commitment, and further the objects of and ensure compliance with the Act, we have adopted the following measures:

  • setting up a Human Rights Act Implementation Working Group under the CEO’s direction, with membership from across the organisation
  • drafting a Human Rights Policy
  • reviewing policies for compliance, including our case management and client service standards
  • updating internal procedures to improve alignment with the Act’s principles and requirements
  • implementing staff awareness measures and compulsory staff training.

In preparing for the start of the Human Rights Act, we made changes to our complaints systems and processes to ensure we could capture and effectively address any human rights complaints received. We did not receive any human rights complaints in 2019–20.

6. Organisation structure

Download a PDF of the organisation structure(PDF, 978KB)

Figure 2 Organisation structure

Figure 2. Organisation structure


  1. The Deputy CEO role was changed to Legal Practice Senior Director. The role has responsibility for overseeing our in-house legal practice.
  2. The Business Support Director role was changed to Business Support Senior Director. The role is responsible for overseeing our Corporate Services and Grants functions.

7. Report card

Queensland Government community objective

  • Be a responsive government

Our services

  • Community legal education and information—through our website, publications, community legal education activities, statewide contact centre and customer service counters
  • Legal advice and task assistance—over the phone, by video-link or face-to-face
  • Duty lawyer services—in criminal, family, domestic violence, child protection, anti-discrimination, employment and administrative law
  • Lawyer assisted dispute resolution—for families facing separation, and for consumers and farmers
  • Representation in courts and tribunals—including criminal law, family law, child protection, domestic violence, mental health and some civil law matters.

Performance indicators

  • Meet Commonwealth Government targets and Queensland Government service delivery statement measures
  • Conduct service delivery audits
  • Conduct client satisfaction survey
  • Deliver internal and external training opportunities to staff and other service providers
  • Achieve First Nations Strategic Plan objectives
  • Improve services to rural and regional communities
  • Lead legal assistance forums
  • Contribute to government policy development
  • Implement service delivery initiatives in the Financial Strategy, Workforce Plan and ICT Strategic Plan


  • Achieved Commonwealth Government (National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services) targets (see Table 3 on page 24).
  • Achieved Queensland Government targets (see Table 4 on page 25).
  • Conducted targeted compliance activity and full file audits throughout the year, and identified and actioned improvement opportunities.
  • Client survey participants rated their overall satisfaction with Legal Aid Queensland as 7.1 out of 10.
  • Ensured clients from key disadvantaged groups were able to access our services (see Table 6 on page 44).
  • Provided 34 policy/law reform responses and contributed to two National Legal Aid submissions to government.
  • 81 percent of Employee Opinion Survey respondents reported high levels of satisfaction with Legal Aid Queensland.
  • Provided psychological wellness, and health and wellbeing programs for staff (see page 50 for more detail).
  • Financial position remains healthy (see Financial overview on page 21).
  • Completed business support projects.

Priorities for the future

  • Continue to provide quality, cost effective legal services statewide.
  • Improve service delivery to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Continue to respond to the legal needs of people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Deliver legal assistance services to people affected by the 2019–20 Queensland bushfires.
  • Continue to pursue our goal of Legal Aid Queensland being a ‘centre of excellence’.
  • Continue to build a health and wellbeing program for our staff.
  • Replace our key business systems LAQ Office and Grants Online.

8. Financial overview

Budget $’000

Actual $’000

Grants and other contributions

140 421

144 563

User charges



Interest and other revenue



Other revenue



Total income

144 264

148 113

Employee expenses

62 120

65 788

Supplies and services

11 498

12 630

Outsourced service delivery

65 987

68 408

Grants and subsidies


Depreciation and amortisation



Revaluation decrement





Total expenses

144 264

154 025

Operating result from continuing operations


Increase in asset revaluation surplus


Total comprehensive income


Table 2. 2019–20 budget versus actual performance

The strong demand for services has shaped the outcome financially for us in 2019–20 with an operating deficit of $5.912 million, or 3.99 percent of total income. This result, compared with a balanced operating budget, is strongly influenced by greater salary and wages expenses, along with strong demand in family law, general criminal law and child protection matters. Furthermore, the operating deficit is influenced by a revaluation decrease (non-cash) of $2.409 million associated with our building at 44 Herschel Street, Brisbane as assessed at 30 June 2020. With the exclusion of the building revaluation decrease, these drivers contributing to the operating deficit have largely provided frontline services to clients in need of legal assistance. Despite the operating deficit of $5.912 million for this year, our financial position remains healthy and reflects the board and management’s commitment to sound financial management principles to ensure the long term sustainability of core services.

Our continued focus on managing our finances has maintained our balance sheet’s strength and stability while allowing the organisation to continue to deliver frontline services in a timely and effective way. Depsite our operating deficit this year, our financial position still allows us to invest in our assets and operational infrastructure, which ultimately helps us deliver services more efficiently to our clients. We will continue to minimise costs and risks in relation to liabilities and contingent liabilities through our ongoing focus on sound governance practices in our financial management.

The organisation collectively has a strong focus on financial management and this allows for a greater ability to plan and deliver against objectives while meeting our core responsibility to provide cost effective services to financially disadvantaged Queenslanders.


Federal and state government grants are our main income source, with relatively little income derived from service charges or clients’ contributions towards their legal costs (see Figure 4 for more information).

Another part of our overall income management focuses on interest income earned on cash investments. This portion of income is moderate in nature but important as it helps deliver core services and provide operational support functions.

Figure 3 Income and expenditure 2019–20  

Figure 3. Income and expenditure 2019-20


Our major expenditure categories cover salary and wages for our staff along with paying our statewide network of private law firms to carry out legal aid work on our behalf (see Figure 6 for more information). The expenditure paid to private law firms is consistent with our mixed service delivery model, which allocates about 75 percent of legally-aided matters to private lawyers. The remaining costs support the in-house legal practice and infrastructure for all service delivery (see Figure 5 for more information). Our continued focus on expenditure management has contributed significantly to the organisational delivery.

Figure 4 Income 2019–20

Figure 4. Income 2019-20


The most valuable assets we have are cash and cash equivalents (of $50.2 million), and our land and building in Brisbane (currently valued at $25 million). Other assets we own include unique computer-based business systems, car fleet and money owed to us by clients.


Our largest liability is money we have to put aside to pay private lawyers for work assigned to them but not yet completed. Sometimes these cases can take several years to complete so money needs to be kept aside from the outset and as a matter progresses. This is shown as a provision in the accounts. In addition to this, our other main liabilities include known future payments to suppliers and providing payments associated with annual leave entitlements for our staff.


Equity is made up of two components—first the accumulated surplus (also known as retained earnings), which essentially is money in the bank and available to use for business needs, and secondly the land asset revaluation reserve. The accumulated surplus balance as at 30 June 2020 was $21.6 million, which represents about 51 percent of our total equity. The second component of our equity is the land revaluation reserve and this represents the increase, over time, in the value of the land we own in Brisbane where our head office is located. The 30 June 2020 balance of the land asset revaluation reserve was $20.6 million.


We have maintained and managed healthy cash levels over the past number of years to ensure we can pay our employees, ensure payment to our network of private lawyers for matters they finalise, and to allow us to replace equipment and other assets along with upgrading our facilities when and where required. We invest this cash in low-risk funds managed by the Queensland Government’s central financing authority. This investment strategy provides us with some income from interest earned but also protects us from market fluctuations. 

Figure 5 Expenses 2019-20

Figure 5. Expenses 2019-20

Figure 6 Payments to private lawyers 2019-20

Figure 6. Payments to private lawyers 2019-20

9. About us

Our role and purpose, vision and values

Our role and purpose

We provide legal assistance to financially disadvantaged people throughout Queensland. By doing so we help to maintain the rule of law, protect legal rights, contribute to the efficiency of the justice system and reduce the social impacts of legal problems.

Our vision

To be a leader in a fair justice system where people are able to understand and protect their legal rights.

Our values

Social justice

We seek to protect people’s rights, promote fair treatment and help those at risk of social exclusion.


We respect the people we assist and those with whom we work and their safety.


We strive to improve the quality of our work and the outcomes for our clients.

Cost effectiveness

We deliver innovative, sustainable, quality and
cost effective services.


We are accountable for our actions and decisions.

Who we are and what we do

Legal Aid Queensland provides legal help to financially disadvantaged Queenslanders. We are an independent statutory authority that operates under the Legal Aid Queensland Act 1997.

We receive state government funding to provide legal services for state law matters, and federal government funding to provide the legal services designated in the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services.

Our services include community legal education (CLE) and information, legal advice and task assistance, duty lawyer services, lawyer assisted dispute resolution, and representation in courts and tribunals. Our services are provided across a range of areas of law including crime, family, child protection, child support, domestic and family violence, social security, consumer protection, employment and anti-discrimination.

Our work contributes to the priorities under the Queensland Government’s Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s Priorities initiative—Be a responsive government. We deliver vital legal services to financially disadvantaged people who cannot afford to engage a lawyer. Our programs help to break the cycle of disadvantage for Queenslanders.

Our head office is in Brisbane. To meet the needs of Queenslanders living in rural and regional areas, we implement a range of strategies, including a statewide client contact centre and offering our services from 13 regional offices: Southport, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Woodridge, Inala, Caboolture, Maroochydore, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Mackay, Mount Isa, Townsville and Cairns. Our regional office staff work with a network of community access points that act as information outposts and referral points in communities. We also coordinate the Queensland Legal Assistance Forum and Regional Legal Assistance Forums.

We provide free CLE, legal information and referral, legal advice and legal task services, and duty lawyer services.

We provide duty lawyer, representation and dispute resolution services through a mixed service delivery model involving our in-house legal practice and preferred supplier law firms around the state to maximise legal services available to disadvantaged Queenslanders. Staff assess individual legal aid applications against the Legal Aid Queensland funding guidelines and by applying means and merits tests, and manage the funding arrangements for cases where aid is approved.

We also respond to requests from the state and federal governments for submissions on legislative reforms and other matters.

10. Our performance


Community legal education


Discrete assistance
Information and referral
Legal advice and legal task services

228 782
36 643

Facilitated resolution processes
Family dispute resolution conferences
Civil dispute resolution


Duty lawyer services
Criminal law duty lawyer
Family law duty lawyer
Domestic and family violence duty lawyer
Child protection duty lawyer
Administrative Appeals Tribunal duty lawyer

71 458
23 826

Representation services
Applications received
Applications approved
Applications refused

44 718
34 755

Table 3. Overview of Legal Aid Queensland services 2018–19

Overview of services

The Australian Government and the states and territories entered into a National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services (NPA) in July 2015. The NPA governs the manner in which Commonwealth legal aid services funding to the states and territories is to be used, as well as the broader goals and objectives of legal assistance services.

The NPA emphasises the early resolution of legal problems through community legal education (CLE) and discrete assistance (ie information, referral, legal advice and legal task services). The service delivery categories used in the NPA have been adopted throughout this annual report.

The categories are:

  • Community legal education
  • discrete assistance—information, referral, legal advice and legal task services
  • facilitated resolution processes
  • duty lawyer services
  • representation services
  • law and legal service reform
  • stakeholder engagement.

National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services target

The NPA includes a national performance framework for legal assistance for Commonwealth funded services. The sole performance benchmark relating to Legal Aid commissions is for 95 percent or more of representation services to be delivered to people experiencing financial disadvantage.

In 2019–20, we achieved 99.95 percent compliance compared to a 95 percent target.

Queensland Government service delivery statement measures

Performance targets


2019–20 target

2019–20 actual

Percentage of administrative decisions referred to external review that are overturned




Percentage of accounts processed by Grants division within 14 day period




Average cost per client for criminal law duty lawyer service

3, 4



Average cost for calls received through the contact centre





  1. This measure demonstrates the effectiveness of the decision-making process for approval of grants of aid to clients.
  2. This measure demonstrates the effectiveness of the grants processing area, as it is expected that all accounts should be processed by the Grants division within a 14-day period, which allows for the appropriate administrative process for the checking and approval of invoices. This measure also represents the importance to local suppliers of receiving payments on a timely basis, as well as Legal Aid Queensland meeting requirements under Legal Aid Queensland Preferred Supplier Agreements. All accounts processed by the Grants division are for legal representation that is performed by preferred suppliers.
  3. This measure reflects the unique Criminal Law Duty Lawyer Service and the efficiency of this service as it calculates the average time spent with a client and converts this into a dollar figure based on the hourly rate. The 2019–20 target of $66 reflects the cost of an average crime duty lawyer session (ie 30 minutes) as provided by preferred suppliers. The Criminal Law Duty Lawyer Service is provided by both in-house lawyers and lawyers from Legal Aid Queensland’s preferred suppliers.
  4. The 2019–20 actual Criminal Law Duty Lawyer Service rate of $52.76 is lower than the 2019–20 target of $66 primarily due to the greater cost efficiency from using
    a combination of both in-house/employed lawyers and preferred supplier lawyers.
  5. This measure demonstrates the efficiency of the contact centre services, as it calculates the average time spent on a call through the contact centre and converts
    this into a dollar figure based on the hourly salary rate of contact centre staff excluding overheads.

Table 4. Queensland Government service standards 2019–20

11. Objective 1. Provide quality and cost effective legal services to our clients

Community legal education

CLE activities are an integral part of the services offered by Legal Aid Queensland. Our CLE activities are coordinated through a strategy that responds to priority client groups and legal problems and aims to:

  • improve community understanding of the law
  • reduce litigation and costs to the justice system
  • help community members to understand their legal rights and responsibilities and how to access legal help if they need it
  • help stakeholders to understand our services and how to access them.

Our CLE Strategy is delivered through:

  • CLE activities and engagement with priority groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities
  • legal information sessions and webinars for community members and community, health and education workers
  • collaborative projects that focus on increasing awareness of the law and our services within more hard-to-reach communities
  • connecting with existing networks and establishing new networks through strong relationships
  • participation in community events such as Homeless Connect
  • web-based legal information and multimedia resources
  • written materials including factsheets and legal information guides.

The NPA’s focus on prevention, early intervention legal services and collaboration has been a key driver for the strategy and coordinating our CLE work.

During the year we:

  • worked with Indigenous service providers and networks to improve access to our specialist services, like child protection, and facilitated CLE through relationship building and using existing project resources like Blurred Borders
  • participated in community engagement meetings with service providers, including service delivery ‘hubs’ and co-located services in regional areas to provide information about our services and delivering CLE
  • facilitated collaborative service delivery opportunities and CLE skills sessions as part of our CLE legal assistance forum – a specialist forum of the Queensland Legal Assistance Forum (QLAF)
  • distributed editions of our e-newsletter Head Note to stakeholders
  • increased our social media presence to promote our resources and key legal information
  • participated in community events across Queensland including Homeless Connect, Finance Fairs, Musgrave Park Family Fun Day, Regional Council community events and other NAIDOC Week regional events, and the Mosaic Multicultural Festival
  • coordinated our CLE webinar program for community, health and education workers; we planned and delivered six webinars and YouTube videos on topics like young people and the law, understanding the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and our services, exploring Queensland’s new Human Rights Act, common consumer leases and ‘lemon laws’, Buy Now Pay Later and other loan products, practical tips for caseworkers supporting clients living with domestic and family violence, credit reports and Legal Aid Queensland’s services
  • delivered 158 CLE activities to 8482 people and produced 50 resources in response to community agency requests and identified need; topics included Legal Aid Queensland’s services, young people and the law, cyber bullying and sexting, domestic and family violence, dealing with clients with impaired capacity, consumer law, mortgage stress, human rights, and credit reporting
  • coordinated and administered the CLE Collaboration Fund’s 10th round to resource collaborative initiatives and partnerships to extend the reach of our CLE work. The fund allows us to resource community legal centres (CLCs), the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (ATSILS) and Regional Legal Assistance Forums (RLAFs) and specialist forums to educate priority communities across Queensland. The eight funded projects will deliver CLE activities and resources to help tenants in regional Queensland, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and communities, young women who are pregnant and parenting and deliver CLE practice professional development to legal assistance workers in regional and remote areas.

Discrete assistance

Information and referral

Legal Aid Queensland provides comprehensive statewide free legal information and referral services to disadvantaged Queenslanders. Our legal information and referral services can be accessed online via the Legal Aid Queensland website (www.legalaid.qld.gov.au), by phone through our client contact centre or in person at one of our 14 offices throughout metropolitan and regional Queensland.

The Legal Aid Queensland website complements our information and referral services by providing comprehensive legal information and a statewide network of referral agencies. Clients can also access information in person by visiting one of our offices or community access points.


Our website allows all Queenslanders to access accurate legal information and service provider referrals.

The website includes features such as:

  • mobile accessibility, making the site easy to read on smart phones and tablets
  • efficient search functionality, where users can simply type in what they are searching for without the need to understand where the information is located on the site
  • a quick exit button on the right of each page, which allows users who are viewing sensitive information to quickly exit the site and redirects them to another website
  • a built-in screen reader and translation tool called ‘Browsealoud’, which will read out our content to users (especially useful for people with vision impairments or low literacy levels and people from a non-English-speaking background)
  • a ‘For lawyers’ section, which includes announcements, key policies and procedures (like the Grants Handbook, best practice guidelines and case management standards) for our preferred supplier lawyers
  • a ‘Find a lawyer’ search feature, which allows users to locate a preferred supplier law firm or CLC near them
  • legal information written in plain language to make it easier to use and understand.

During the year, our website was accessed 1,708,032 times with 3,166,167 pages being viewed.

Client contact centre

Our client contact centre is based in Brisbane and operates Monday to Friday during business hours.

The client contact centre answered 139,003 calls in 2019–20 and provided 81,562 legal information and referral services to clients.

The team also provided 946 legal information and referral services via email.

We continued to give prisoners in correctional centres priority access to our client contact centre to reduce their waiting time. Prisoners are considered highly vulnerable clients as they have extremely limited access to legal services and support and are at a high risk of social exclusion and financial disadvantage. Prisoners’ call times are restricted and time waiting in a queue counts towards their call limit and impacts their capacity to deal with their legal issues.

In 2019–20, we continued our partnership with the Queensland Police Service as a community service provider for the Police Referrals Management Service. The service helps people who come into contact with police and other community agencies and organisations, and who require support for legal issues. During the year, we handled 3029 referrals from this program.

We also worked to improve our business processes and systems to further streamline information and advice delivery to clients. The changes included:

  • continuing to improve our intake process and referral pathways
  • continuing our monthly ongoing training program with specialist sessions on psychological wellness, cultural awareness and human rights
  • using videoconferencing and recording technology for regional front counter staff to participate in ongoing training sessions
  • providing training for new front counter staff to support them to deliver face-to-face services at regional front counters
  • continuing to streamline the call management process using a client-focused call pathway
  • improving specialist reporting to allow improved analysis of incoming calls and service delivery trends.

Client Assistance Service

This year, we continued to help some of our particularly vulnerable clients, especially those with multiple legal issues, through our Client Assistance Service. The service is targeted to clients who need extra help accessing legal help. The Client Assistance Service triages the client’s legal problems and provides the support they need to ensure they can access timely and appropriate legal services. This year, the service continued to grow, providing support to 347 clients. To meet the demand, several client information officers from the client contact centre have received specialist training to help clients who have been referred to the service.

Your Story Disability Legal Support

In September 2019, Legal Aid Queensland started a new service helping people to share their experiences with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. The service has been named ‘Your Story Disability Legal Support’ and is a free and independent national legal service jointly delivered by National Legal Aid and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS). Clients access the service online via the Your Story Disability Legal Support website (www.yourstorydisabilitylegal.org.au) or by calling the national Your Story Disability Legal Support information line.

The service has staff in each legal aid commission in Australia and in Aboriginal legal services around the country. Online and phone inquiries are answered by a small team of client information officers based at Legal Aid Queensland who have completed specialist disability awareness and trauma-informed practice training.

Your Story Disability Legal Support answered 1392 calls from 844 clients in 2019–20 and 496 callers identified as a person with disability. Your Story Disability Legal Support provided 1,184 legal information and referral services to clients during 2019–20.

Legal advice and legal task services

Financially disadvantaged Queenslanders can access our free legal advice and legal task services by telephone, including through the National Relay Service, by videoconference or face-to-face at Legal Aid Queensland offices and at designated outreach services.

Figure 7 Legal advice and legal tasks services 2019-20  

Figure 7. Legal advice and legal tasks services 2019-20

We provide free legal advice to eligible clients in:

Criminal law

  • Criminal charges in the Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts
  • Youth justice
  • Traffic matters
  • Mental health law

Family law

  • Parenting issues (eg arrangements about children)
  • Relationship issues (eg divorce, property settlement)
  • Domestic and family violence
  • Child support and maintenance
  • Child protection
  • Family dispute resolution

Civil law

  • Anti-discrimination and human rights
  • Farm and rural debt issues
  • Social security appeals
  • Peace and good behaviour
  • Victim Assist
  • Motor vehicle property damage
  • Consumer and debt disputes
  • Employment
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

In 2019–20, we provided legal advice and legal task services to 36,643 people.

The legal advice service is primarily provided by our Brisbane-based First Advice Contact Team (FACT), specialist legal teams and regional offices.

FACT provides face-to-face advice to eligible clients at our Brisbane office and remote legal advice via a statewide telephone service. FACT also provides legal task services for people who might need help with preparing letters and other documents following initial legal advice. They also help as domestic and family violence duty lawyers as needed.

Prison Advice Service

Our Prison Advice Service primarily uses videoconferencing to provide legal advice services to people in Queensland’s prisons. Videoconferencing reduces travel time and provides cost savings. The Prison Advice Service and some regional advice lawyers also provide face-to-face advice services at designated prisons.

In 2019–20, the Prison Advice Service provided 1710 advice services to Queensland prisoners.

Refugee and Immigration Legal Service advice referrals

We worked with the Brisbane based Refugee and Immigration Service (RAILS) to provide a warm referral pathway for clients who have family law, domestic violence or child protection issues. The lawyers provide advice through these referrals pathways and help clients apply for legal aid (if appropriate).

Victim Assist advice clinic

We provide specialist legal advice and minor assistance to victims of crime about applications for financial help to Victim Assist Queensland. We provide a weekly Victim Assist telephone advice clinic.

Consumer advice clinic

During 2019–20, we continued to provide telephone advice clinics five days a week, and face-to-face consumer advice clinics at our Inala, Woodridge and Ipswich offices. We provided advice about:

  • mortgage stress and housing repossession
  • debt and debt collection practices
  • credit cards and personal loans
  • car loans
  • small amount (payday) loans and consumer leases
  • telephone and other utilities contracts
  • insurance including home and contents, car insurance and funeral insurance
  • Australian Consumer law including faulty cars, unsolicited consumer agreements and training colleges and courses
  • bankruptcy and part IX agreements.

Anti-discrimination advice clinic

During the year, we continued to provide specialist advice clinics about state and federal anti-discrimination laws three days a week. From January 2020, we also provided advice about state human rights protections in these clinics.

We also provide a specialist advice clinic one afternoon a week through an arrangement with the Queensland Human Rights Commission (QHRC). The clinic is available to clients whose complaints have been accepted by the commission. Clients receive advice face-to-face or via telephone about their complaint, the complaint process, the conciliation process and how to proceed to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). During these clinics, we also provide minor assistance to clients to help facilitate their access to justice.

Employment law advice clinic

We provide specialist legal advice and task assistance to federal system employees about federal employment law matters under the Fair Work Act 2009, including unfair dismissal, general protections, bullying, discrimination, civil penalty provision breaches, stand downs, flexibility arrangements and JobKeeper. We also provide advice on entitlements and disciplinary processes, and help clients apply for legal aid if appropriate. We provide telephone advice clinics five days a week. We also provide a specialist advice clinic three days a week through the Fair Work Commission’s Workplace Advice Service.

Social security appeals advice clinic

During the year, we established a specialist in-house legal advice clinic that focusses on providing advice to clients who do not yet have an appeal before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), including those who need help to lodge an appeal with the tribunal. This allows clients to achieve an early resolution rather than having to wait until their appeal reaches the tribunal. The clinic also supports clients whose appeal was unsuccessful and who are unsure how to progress their matter.

We also continued to provide social security appeal advice clinics in collaboration with the AAT and Basic Rights Queensland. We provide clinics at the AAT’s Social Services and Child Support Division and General Division two days each week. These clinics help clients who may be eligible for a grant of aid for their General Division appeal. The clinic at the Social Services and Child Support Division provides advice and minor assistance to clients who are representing themselves and many appeals are resolved at this level. We also refer vulnerable clients with merit to Basic Rights Queensland for casework assistance.

NDIS advice clinic

We continued to provide an in-house NDIS advice clinic one day a week for clients who have received their National Disability Insurance Agency internal review decisions but who have not yet lodged an appeal before the AAT. We also help those who need help to lodge an appeal with the tribunal.

During the year, we also provided NDIS appeals advice clinics through an arrangement with the AAT. This weekly advice clinic helps clients who have lodged external reviews in the AAT.

At these clinics we provide specialist NDIS advice to participants in the NDIS, prospective participants, and nominees in relation to their appointments and, if appropriate, help them apply for legal aid.

Legal Advice Referral Pathways Program

We continued to provide our Legal Advice Referral Pathways Program, which helps vulnerable clients, particularly women who have experienced domestic and family violence, to receive priority legal advice. The program operates in 10 locations around the state—Brisbane, Caboolture, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Woodridge, Maroochydore, Toowoomba, Bundaberg, Mackay and Townsville.

Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service and Application Assistance Program

During the year, we provided legal advice, support and information to women dealing with domestic and family violence matters and related child protection and family law matters, including through the Application Assistance Program and the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service.

The Application Assistance Program helps women applying for domestic and family violence protection orders in the Brisbane Magistrates Court by:

  • helping women prepare and lodge applications for domestic and family violence protection orders
  • providing support for women in court
  • helping women with risk assessments and safety planning
  • referring women to legal and support services.

The Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service provides free and confidential help to all women who attend the Brisbane Magistrates Court for domestic and family violence matters. The service is available to all women applying for, or responding to, a domestic and family violence protection order, and helps them:

  • access the court’s safety facilities
  • understand what protection orders are, including their conditions and what to do if an order is breached
  • understand the court process, including support and information
  • talk to the police prosecutor and court staff
  • make a safety plan
  • access relevant legal and community services for crisis counselling and emotional support
  • complete applications for legal aid.

Child Protection Early Legal Service

During the year, the Brisbane-based Child Protection Early Intervention Program changed its name to the Child Protection Early Legal Service. The service continued to focus on providing legal advice and advocacy for vulnerable parents early in child protection interventions. The team’s lawyers work collaboratively with community-based support agencies to make sure the program reaches vulnerable parents involved, or at risk of becoming involved, with the child protection system. Early legal support involves advocating for parents to receive support and guidance to keep their children safe so that statutory child protection intervention occurs only as a last resort. This support may involve legal advice and help before the start of court proceedings.

Child Protection Outreach Legal Service

The Child Protection Outreach Legal Service provides legal advice services to Mount Isa, Mackay, Longreach, Emerald, Biloela, Gladstone, Kingaroy, Cherbourg, Murgon, Cleveland, Roma, Charleville and Cunnamulla. The service also provides regular Child Protection Duty Lawyer Services in Gladstone, Mackay and Cleveland. The service is provided by Brisbane-based lawyers who regularly fly in and out of regional Queensland.

We have established referral pathway partnerships with relevant stakeholders, including the Director of Child Protection Litigation, the Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor and the Office of the Public Guardian to help clients in these areas to get legal advice.

Child support advice clinic

We continued to provide child support advice two days each week. The clinic provides people with legal advice about reviewing child support decisions, child support agreements, paternity and enforcing outstanding child support payments. Lawyers provide advice to clients on their prospects of success and/or evidence, and if appropriate, help them apply for legal aid.

Family law advice clinic

We continued to provide legal advice each week to people experiencing complex family law issues. Lawyers provide advice to clients on their prospects of success and/or evidence, and if appropriate, help them apply for legal aid.

Domestic and family violence advice

During the year, we continued to provide specialist domestic and family violence advice services five days a week to help those affected by domestic and family violence and those who are responding to an application for a domestic and family violence order.

Youth Legal Advice Hotline

Our Youth Legal Advice Hotline continued to provide legal advice and support to young people, and assistance to youth justice stakeholders and Queensland Police. The hotline was established in November 2017 to help young people with improved access to early legal advice with the aim of increasing the likelihood of their issues reaching an early resolution, and promoting diversionary options or bail release for young people suspected by police of having committed an offence. Following new laws requiring Queensland Police to notify a legal aid organisation that a child is in custody for questioning, the hotline operating hours were expanded in December 2019 to provide services on a 24 hour basis from Friday until Sunday afternoon. The hotline now operates Monday to Thursday from 8am to 9pm and from Friday 8am to Sunday 5pm. During the year, staff provided early legal advice and help for 1276 matters.

Duty lawyer services

Criminal Law Duty Lawyer Service

Our Criminal Law Duty Lawyer Service operates in 99 Queensland Magistrates and Childrens Courts and plays a crucial role in our youth and adult justice systems. The service offers free initial legal advice and representation to people charged with criminal and serious traffic offences who are on bail or in custody in Queensland. Duty lawyers represent people on guilty pleas, make bail applications and request remands for clients.

Duty lawyer services are provided by our in-house lawyers, authorised private lawyers and the ATSILS who deliver services under roster or tender arrangements.

We are committed to case conferencing and mediating matters with the prosecution to ensure our clients have their legal issues resolved as soon as possible. This can have significant sentencing benefits for clients and can also result in savings to the criminal justice system by avoiding court time being wasted. It also means witnesses and victims do not have to go through the stress of attending court.

Family Law Duty Lawyer Service

Our Family Law Duty Lawyer Service provides help to self-represented litigants in the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court throughout Queensland for family law matters. We provide services in Brisbane, Southport, Ipswich, Maroochydore, Toowoomba, Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns.

The duty lawyer service provides information, legal advice, referrals and in some cases, representation for clients with matters in court that day. We also help people complete their own forms and documents, negotiate and settle consent orders, and seek adjournments. We help people complete applications for legal aid or access our review process if they have previously been unsuccessful with applications for aid.

Family Advocacy and Support Services

The Family Advocacy and Support Services operate in the Commonwealth law courts in Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns. This is a federal government funded service focusing on giving more and earlier help to clients impacted by family violence.

The service recognises people coming to the family law courts need more than just legal help—it involves lawyers and social support workers who can work together to address the client’s legal and non-legal needs.

The service provides legal advice and help for unrepresented people on their court date, complementing the Family Law Duty Lawyer Service. Legal help is also provided for clients who are not in court but have a very urgent family law issue, such as seeking recovery, or airport watch list orders for children.

Lawyers give people information and legal advice, negotiate with other parties, prepare simple court documents and represent people in court (in some situations). Support workers can help clients with safety planning and referrals for their social support needs. The service continues to provide a wrap-around legal and social support service to clients who need urgent help.

Domestic and Family Violence Duty Lawyer Service

We continued our role as a key partner involved in the Specialist Domestic and Family Violence Courts at Southport, Beenleigh, Townsville, Mount Isa and Palm Island. We operate duty lawyer services to support clients and the court. The service gives people access to free legal help before their court appearance. The service’s clients include those affected by domestic and family violence and those who are responding to an application for a domestic and family violence order. In Southport, the service also provides legal help to defendants charged with breaching domestic and family violence orders and related criminal cases. The duty lawyers provide legal advice, representation and referrals to other legal and support services for people appearing before the specialist courts.

This year, the duty lawyers in the Specialist Domestic and Family Violence Courts have helped 10,671 people appearing before the court for civil domestic and family violence matters.

We also operated domestic and family violence duty lawyer services in 25 other court locations around Queensland.

The duty lawyers provide free legal information and advice, help clients fill out forms and documents needed for that day in court, discuss the clients’ eligibility for ongoing support from Legal Aid Queensland in the domestic violence matter and other related legal problems, and provide referrals to appropriate support services. In some circumstances, the duty lawyer may also appear in court on the client’s behalf for their domestic violence matter.

The duty lawyer services are provided in the 30 courts by in-house lawyers and lawyers from preferred supplier law firms and CLCs. Providing legal help and referrals early in the court process helps applicants and respondents to better understand their options and the legal implications of these options. It also helps people to connect with support services early to keep them and their children safe.

Child Protection Duty Lawyer Service

We operated the Child Protection Duty Lawyer Service in Brisbane, Ipswich, Southport, Maroochydore, Toowoomba, Caboolture, Pine Rivers, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns Childrens Courts.

The Child Protection Outreach Legal Service provided duty lawyer services in Mackay, Gladstone and Cleveland.

The duty lawyers provide free legal help to parents and young people before they appear in court for their child protection matter.

The service is a court-based advice model where lawyers provide free legal information and advice, help people fill out forms and documents needed for that day in court and also talk to the clients about their eligibility for ongoing legal representation from Legal Aid Queensland. In some circumstances, the duty lawyer may also appear in court on the client’s behalf for their child protection matter.

The Child Protection Duty Lawyer Services are provided by in-house lawyers and lawyers from preferred supplier law firms and CLCs. Lawyers being available to provide advice to people about their child protection issues help the clients to be properly informed before going into court, to feel more confident negotiating the legal process and more accepting of the outcomes.

Facilitated resolution processes

Resolving family law problems through dispute resolution processes

Legal Aid Queensland is a national leader in providing lawyer-assisted family law dispute resolution. We provide a statewide lawyer-assisted family dispute resolution program. We aim to resolve family law disputes before matters go to court or before a final hearing if court proceedings have started. The program achieved an outstanding result in 2019–20, with 78 percent of matters achieving an early resolution.

We have dispute resolution conference organisers in Brisbane and regional centres around the state to help families. Family law dispute resolution conferences are held at our Brisbane and regional offices and by telephone and videoconference. An important part of our dispute resolution program is our property arbitration program, which allows parties to settle property disputes.

During the year, we started a property mediation conference process to allow parties with property disputes to resolve these in a two-step conference process that allows property disclosure and discovery to occur.

Providing services to the farming community

Our Farm and Rural Legal Service provides free legal help to Queensland farmers and primary producers experiencing financial hardship related to their business, including those with severe debt problems or those in dispute with their lenders.

During the year, we provided legal advice via telephone or face-to-face and represented clients in 11 mediations with their banks and finance providers. The service was provided by our in-house lawyers and involved travelling thousands of kilometres on outback Queensland roads to see farmers on their properties.

Representation services

Our in-house practice, together with hundreds of private
law firms and barristers, provide representation services to legally-aided clients in serious crime, general crime, juvenile justice, family law, child protection, domestic violence and other civil law matters. We use grants of aid to purchase these services from private lawyers and manage in-house work allocations.

About 75 percent of our legal representation is provided by private lawyers, with the remainder provided by our in-house practice.

In 2019–20, our expenditure to private lawyers for representing clients was $68.4 million.

Processing applications for grants of aid

Our Grants division is responsible for processing applications for grants of legal assistance and managing these grants following approval.

We assessed 44,718 new applications for legal aid and approved 34,755 applications in 2019–20.

We saw an increase in the number of applications for family and civil law matters compared with 2018–19. Applications are processed by staff in our Brisbane and regional offices. Demand for our services is high so we use strict criteria when granting aid for legal representation. In determining whether to approve a grant of aid, grants officers assess requests in line with our guidelines, which are set by the Legal Aid Queensland Board, and apply the means and merits tests. This process looks at the financial means of the person applying and the case’s merit. If an application is refused, internal and external review processes are available to applicants.

We also allocate independent children’s lawyers in family law proceedings and separate representatives in child protection proceedings from the specialist panels we maintain.

Figure 8 Applications for grants of aid received and approved 2019-20

Figure 8. Applications for grants of aid received and approved 2019-20

Managing grants of aid

In addition to processing initial applications for legal aid, during the year we managed nearly 40,000 ongoing cases—this involved assessing and issuing 75,809 extensions to the initial grants as matters progress, paying 75,698 accounts, and recovering financial contributions from clients and external agencies.

Improving grants of aid

In consultation with our stakeholders, we conducted our annual fee review and identified funding responses in particular areas for review in 2020–21 when further funding may become available.

We entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Queensland Police Service to allow Grants staff to access copies of police material needed to assess legal aid applications through a secure portal. This has allowed us to assess and process applications without needing to follow up with clients about this information.

Commonwealth Family Violence and Cross-Examination of Parties Scheme

We receive funding from the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department to fund the Commonwealth Family Violence and Cross-examination of Parties Scheme. During 2019–20, we developed and implemented a response to the scheme allowing representation in matters where there is a ban on personal cross-examination in family law hearings. We receive applications for funding, which are not subject to means or merits testing, and usually allocate these to a preferred supplier to prepare for and conduct the hearing where the cross-examination is to occur. The scheme began operating
on 10 September 2019 and funded 212 applicants.

In-house legal practices

Criminal law services
Magistrates Court

We provide legal representation in the Magistrates Court for guilty pleas, summary trials, committals and other Magistrates Court matters.

Our lawyers are involved in the Magistrates Court call-over process in Brisbane and provide case conferencing services for summary and committal matters. During the year, we continued our in-house duty lawyer services in Brisbane to help unrepresented defendants in the criminal jurisdiction of the Brisbane Magistrates Court and the Holland Park Magistrates Court. These services are well received by the Magistrates Court and provide legal help and representation to a significant number of defendants.

Consistent with the state government’s commitment to diversionary court programs, we have actively participated in supporting these courts in Queensland. The Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court continued to operate this year, and our extensive knowledge and experience of previous drug court programs has allowed us to positively contribute to the successful operation of this important specialist court program. We also continued to provide duty lawyer services to help unrepresented defendants in the Court Link criminal call-over in Brisbane. Court Link is a bail-based case management program monitored by the Magistrates Court and aims to address the underlying causes of offending such as homelessness.

Serious and general crime

Our lawyers specialise in the defence of complex and general criminal law cases in Commonwealth and state jurisdictions.

We provide legal assistance in Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003 (DPSOA) matters and continued representation to cover prisoners who may fall within the parameters of No Body, No Parole (NBNP) hearings before the Parole Board of Queensland.

In DPSOA matters, we act for people responding to dangerous prisoner applications brought by the Attorney-General, at periodic reviews of continuing detention orders, and in contravention proceedings for breaches of supervision orders. Where NBNP provisions apply, a prisoner will be detained, without release, for the rest of their sentence without a regular review mechanism. In cases involving a life sentence, this would result in a prisoner never being released into the community on parole.

Representation in our criminal litigation teams is often delivered in serious criminal matters such as murder, major fraud and complicated drug prosecutions. The defence of these matters is challenging and demanding, requiring extensive research, investigation and preparation.

Lawyers also provided help to clients who must appear before hearings conducted by the Crime and Corruption Commission Queensland or the Australian Crime Commission.

The General Crime team has helped in absorbing the growing demand in criminal law work across all jurisdictions, particularly in south east Queensland’s District and Supreme Court jurisdictions.

Our experienced lawyers continued to contribute to criminal justice system consultation to help increase efficiencies in the superior courts, particularly in relation to streamlining criminal justice processes.


Legal Aid Queensland represents people on appeal in the District Court appellate jurisdiction, Queensland Court of Appeal and the High Court of Australia. Appellate jurisdictions are the safety net for the criminal justice system and our lawyers appear in many appeals alongside in-house counsel.

Our lawyers work with stakeholders in the appellate jurisdictions to improve representation and the justice system generally. Our Appeals team has also been actively engaged with the Court of Appeal to ensure we provide efficient and effective defence representation in legally-aided appeals.

Mental Health Court

Our Mental Health Unit provides advice and representation for people charged with criminal offences who have been referred to the Mental Health Court. The team is also committed to helping Queenslanders affected by mental illness or significant impairment and strives to provide them with a voice in the justice system.

The team works closely with our in-house counsel and Mental Health Review Tribunal team to conduct matters, representing the vast majority of non-privately represented clients appearing in the Mental Health Court.

Legal representation in the Mental Health Review Tribunal

We continued working with the Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) to provide legal representation services to patients appearing before the tribunal under the Mental Health Act 2016.

The tribunal sits in 72 locations across Queensland, and during the year we provided 2255 legal representation services to clients.

The MHRT is an independent statutory body protecting the rights of people receiving involuntary treatment for mental illness. It provides an independent review process and makes decisions about whether treatment should occur either in hospital or in the community.

To help service clients statewide, we have an in-house MHRT team based in Brisbane and in-house regional lawyers along with a network of 45 external legal service providers (private law firms that do legal aid work and CLCs).

Our in-house team, working together with the network of service providers, gives legal help to some of Queensland’s most vulnerable people appearing in the tribunal across the state.

Arranging representation for MHRT referrals

Our Dispute Resolution Service is responsible for arranging free legal representation for people appearing before the MHRT where the MHRT has identified a need for legal representation and where those people would otherwise be unrepresented. Funded by Queensland Health to help meet its statutory obligations, we administer the allocation of legal representation from a specialist panel including lawyers in our MHRT team as well as preferred suppliers and CLCs.
In 2019–20, we allocated representation for 3214 matters.

Helping young people in the criminal justice system

Our Youth Legal Aid team provides specialist legal assistance to children and young people in the youth justice system, particularly in south-east Queensland. The team is a significant stakeholder in the youth justice sector and advocates strongly on behalf of vulnerable children.

During the year, we continued to provide advice and policy submissions to government on issues relating to youth justice. Our youth justice lawyers also used their knowledge, experience and expertise to provide statewide legal training programs for youth justice stakeholders to improve justice outcomes for young people.

The state government continued to fund us to deliver the Youth Legal Advice Hotline and our Remand Reduction Strategy. The hotline enables young people and youth justice stakeholders to access legal information and advice about a criminal law matter by telephone, while providing Queensland Police investigating officers with an available lawyer to help promote early resolution of matters and diversionary options.

The Remand Reduction Strategy provides an important legal advice and representation service for young people detained in custody, helping them to pursue bail applications where the case has merit. During the year, our Remand Reduction team considered 968 referrals and completed 69 bail applications before the Childrens Court of Queensland.

Our in-house Youth Legal Aid team represents young people in casework matters and also provides legal advice services at regular sessions to young people in detention. The team has also continued to deliver duty lawyer services to court locations in south-east Queensland to accommodate the increased numbers of young people before the Childrens Court. The state government also funded us to deliver expanded Childrens Court representation in the Townsville, Burdekin, Herbert River and Mount Isa areas.

In 2019–20, we developed and launched the Youth Justice Practitioners Guide for defence and prosecution lawyers who appear in the Childrens Court so they can be aware of the specific provisions of the Youth Justice Act, its principles and procedures. We developed and implemented a Youth Practitioner Certification Program for all youth justice lawyers who do legal aid work. Training and education packages were delivered in 16 locations across Queensland and via webinar to improve the quality and effectiveness of legal representation for young people. Certification training included elements such as cultural capability, developmental psychology and impairment, trauma, speech and language, and competence in youth justice legislation.

Family law services
Social science work

Our social scientists play an integral role in delivering our legal services to vulnerable clients. They support people through legal processes, chair family dispute resolution conferences, complete social assessment and family reports and provide counselling services. We provide social work services from our Brisbane and Townsville offices.

During the year, our social workers completed forensic assessment reports and psychological reports for independent children’s lawyers and separate representatives involved in family law and child protection matters and provided testimony before the courts. They helped our lawyers by providing clients with information and referrals to appropriate external organisations for help with non-legal matters such as mental health problems, substance dependencies and accommodation difficulties.

Helping those affected by domestic and family violence

We represent people in domestic and family violence matters through grants of aid to private law firms and to our in-house legal practice.

Our specialist multi-disciplined Violence Prevention and Women’s Advocacy team helps clients experiencing domestic and family violence. The team comprises specialist lawyers and social workers who provide services to people and practical advice about service delivery in domestic and family violence cases.

Rockhampton Domestic Violence unit

The Commonwealth funded Domestic Violence Service in Rockhampton provides a wrap-around service to clients impacted by domestic violence.

The service is designed to support the client’s legal and non-legal needs by involving lawyers and support workers working together to address the client’s needs. The service provides advice and assistance for clients in the domestic and family violence and family law jurisdictions in Rockhampton and surrounding areas.

Counselling Notes Protect

We work to deliver the Counselling Notes Protect service in partnership with Women’s Legal Service. The service provides advice, assistance and representation to clients about Queensland law that protects the counselling records of victims of sexual assault or alleged sexual assault from being used in some courts.

Helping people with child support issues

We provide information, referral, legal advice and representation services to clients in some child support areas. We can explain how the child support formula works, how the Family Tax Benefit is affected and how to prove paternity.

Children and young people

Helping children, their families and the courts to assess the best interests of children involved in legal proceedings is a key focus of the work conducted by our family and child protection lawyers. We continued to provide legal services for children and young people involved in family law and child protection matters in 2019–20.

Courts exercising family law and child protection jurisdiction make a significant number of independent children’s lawyer and separate representative appointments, where judicial officers order a child’s interests be separately represented. Independent children’s lawyers and separate representatives provide best interests representation for children, playing a unique and difficult role within the family law and child protection systems. They gather and assess independent evidence, help children and young people to participate in legal processes that affect them, and provide measured guidance and recommendations to the courts about the best interests of children and young people. The cases they work on are complex and demanding. Many of these matters are dealt with by specialist in-house lawyers. Our in-house independent children’s lawyers and separate representatives have significant experience and knowledge about parenting and child protection cases.

In addition to appearing in complex child protection and family law matters, our in-house lawyers also perform considerable work in the Family Court of Australia’s Magellan list—a case management list devoted to cases where there are allegations of serious physical abuse or sexual abuse of children.

We facilitated independent children’s lawyer and separate representative panel meetings to help ensure knowledge is shared and issues are discussed between the private practitioners on the panel and in-house specialist lawyers. This ensures a consistent, quality approach to representing children and young people.

Child protection

We are the largest child protection legal service provider to individuals in Queensland, providing information and advice, representation of parents, direct representation of young people, separate representation of children and young people in the Childrens Court of Queensland, and limited representation in the QCAT in respect of reviewable decisions.

Civil justice services
Anti-discrimination services

We provide representation in matters involving anti-discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and vilification. We provide representation in the Australian Human Rights Commission, QHRC, QCAT, Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, Queensland Court of Appeal and Federal Court of Australia. From January 2020, our casework included discrimination and, as appropriate, attached human rights actions.

Employment law

We provide specialist legal representation to federal system employees for unfair dismissal and general protections matters covered by the Fair Work Act 2009. We provide representation in the Fair Work Commission, Federal Circuit Court and Federal Court of Australia.

Civil Law Legal Aid Scheme

The Civil Law Legal Aid Scheme is an outlays only scheme that helps financially disadvantaged people who have a civil law claim for which no grant of legal aid is available. Funded by the Public Trustee of Queensland and administered by Legal Aid Queensland, the scheme covers outlays required to prepare civil law claims for settlement negotiations and/or court proceedings. The scheme does not fund legal professional fees and lawyers accessing the scheme must agree to speculate their fees. The scheme operates under guidelines independent of Legal Aid Queensland’s grants of legal aid.

The scheme will consider providing funding for outlays where:

  • there are reasonable prospects of the scheme recovering outlays
  • the action can be dealt with in the Queensland legal jurisdiction
  • an approved firm is willing to act on a speculative basis for their professional fees.

Applications are subject to means testing and merit assessment, and assistance will only be approved if it is considered the claim has reasonable prospects of success.

As a result of findings from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Limitation of Action Act 1974 (Qld) was changed, removing the time limit restriction on childhood abuse personal injury claims. During the year, the scheme experienced an increase in applications for help with childhood abuse personal injury claims resulting from the removal of time limits.

Legal help for war veterans and their dependents

We receive federal funding under the War Veterans’ Legal Aid Scheme to provide help to veterans and their dependents in relation to appeals of Veterans Review Board decisions about:

  • war caused disability pension entitlements or assessment claims under Part II of the Veterans Entitlement Act 1986
  • claims under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 about warlike or
    non-warlike service.

In 2019–20, we helped eight veterans and their dependents to file appeals.

Consumer protection

We provide representation in credit, debt and consumer law matters. We provide advice to clients as well as lawyers and financial counsellors throughout Queensland. During the year, we helped people with:

  • mortgage stress
  • housing repossession
  • debt (including debts faced by people experiencing family violence)
  • credit cards and personal loans (including car loans)
  • telecommunications and utilities
  • misleading and deceptive conduct, unfair contract terms and unsolicited consumer agreements (including door-to-door selling)
  • insurance (including flood and bushfire insurance claims)
  • debt collection practices
  • credit reporting
  • bankruptcy and part IX agreements.
Farm and Rural Legal Service

The Farm and Rural Legal Service provides advice and representation at farm debt mediations to Queensland farmers and primary producers facing financial hardship related to their business, including severe debt problems or those who are in dispute with their lenders.

Social security appeals

We provide casework assistance and representation for social security appeals in the General Division of the AAT and the Federal Court of Australia.

National Disability Insurance Scheme appeals

During 2019–20, we continued to provide legal representation to eligible people who have applied for an external review to the AAT of a decision by the NDIA.


In 2019–20, our team of in-house barristers continued to demonstrate their commitment to providing quality specialist legal advocacy services to disadvantaged Queenslanders and continued to work efficiently and effectively.

Rob East was appointed Public Defender in August 2019 and QC in November 2019. This prestigious accolade is an appropriate testament both to the quality and expertise of our in-house barristers generally, and to Rob’s personal standing as an advocate and leader in the profession. Experienced barrister and member of the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council, Katarina Prskalo, was appointed Deputy Public Defender in December 2019. Rob and Katarina together with Catherine Morgan, Deputy Public Defender, form Counsel’s leadership team.

Counsel continued to undertake complex trials and sentences in the Supreme, District and Magistrates Courts, and appeared at all Mental Health Court sittings throughout the year. Counsel also appeared for respondents to applications brought under the DPSOA before the Supreme Court in its civil jurisdiction.

In 2019, Deputy Public Defender Catherine Morgan appeared as junior counsel to Peter Callaghan SC (as His Honour then was) in the landmark case of R v TAL, successfully opposing first application for a retrial under the statutory exceptions to the double jeopardy rule. This was an achievement of which Legal Aid Queensland can be proud, involving a well-coordinated team effort by Counsel, our Appeals team and Toowoomba office, supported by thorough research by our Library staff.

Senior barristers regularly provided advice on the merit of applications for grants of aid for appeals against conviction and sentence. They also appeared in appeals against conviction and sentence before the Queensland Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.

Members of the in-house Counsel team shared their legal expertise by contributing to Legal Aid Queensland’s continuing professional development (CPD) program, and by helping in training programs for expert witnesses in the area of mental health. In-house barristers have also regularly helped with the training of Bar Practice students, as ‘judges’ for mock trials, and as presenters in advocacy training sessions. More temporary acting opportunities in Counsel have been provided, to help junior legal practitioners within Legal Aid Queensland to develop their advocacy skills under the guidance of more senior practitioners.

Ensuring quality legal services

Legal Aid Queensland aims to provide quality legal services to financially disadvantaged people and we continue to improve the quality of our work and the outcomes for our clients.

Measuring client satisfaction

In March 2019, we commissioned market research consultants Colmar Brunton to conduct our biennial client survey. This involved a telephone survey of 500 previous clients. Clients were asked about their overall satisfaction with Legal Aid Queensland, and more detailed questions about the specific services they received and their experiences.

The survey revealed positive outcomes for Legal Aid Queensland in overall service satisfaction and performance across our key service areas. Overall satisfaction was rated 7.1 out of 10 and satisfaction was generally high across most client groups in Queensland. The results indicated we are performing strongly on information, advice and casework services.

Client satisfaction with legal representation and advice services increased respectively from 8.6 and 7.6 in 2017, to 8.7 and 7.7 in 2019. In particular, 80 percent of clients receiving representation were very satisfied, and the survey reported a very high satisfaction level with representation services provided by both in-house and private lawyers.

Satisfaction scores are influenced significantly by the outcome of a client’s application for a grant of aid for representation in court. Clients who did not receive a grant of aid were the least satisfied, with a mean score of 3.5 out of 10, whereas clients who received a grant of aid scored the application service at 8.6 out of 10.

The research provided useful information to help us prioritise future service improvement initiatives.

In-house lawyers

We continued to use our Quality Legal Services Framework for Legal Aid Queensland employed lawyers. The document lists the measures we have in place to ensure we maintain a high standard of service delivery to our clients.

This includes:

  • recruiting and selecting lawyers through open, merit based selection processes
  • providing an induction program for new lawyers to ensure they are familiar with standards of conduct, professional requirements and administrative processes
  • developing and delivering a CPD program for lawyers
  • compliance with legal profession standards
  • compliance with legal service standards, case management standards and practice management standards
  • providing legal professional supervision to lawyers
  • regularly reviewing files and auditing lawyers
  • responding to client feedback and complaints
  • conducting a client satisfaction survey every two years to guide improvements to service delivery.

Preferred supplier law firms

Our preferred supplier law firms are required under their agreement with Legal Aid Queensland to meet our policies, guidelines, and file management, practice and case management standards.

As part of our commitment to ensuring funding is used in line with the terms and conditions of approved grants, we implement a rolling program of compliance checks. These compliance checks focus on particular aspects of compliance across a large number of grants of aid and suppliers.

In 2019–20, we continued to focus on the following areas of compliance:

  • confirming a conference with counsel and the client happened before the client signed instructions to proceed to trial
  • holding signed instructions for trial before requesting a grant of aid for trial.

We communicate all compliance activity outcomes to the participants and use these to continuously improve our grant funding processes.

We require the work performed by preferred supplier firms to be at a high professional and ethical standard and the preferred supplier firms comply with the terms of the preferred supplier agreement. We respond to complaints received from clients and other stakeholders about preferred suppliers in line with our complaints policy and procedures. We assess complaints to identify any concerns about the preferred supplier’s compliance with the agreement. If we identify concerns, the complaint is investigated by seeking a response from the preferred supplier and gathering any other material relevant to the complaint. We consider all available information and decide whether the complaint is substantiated or not substantiated. We then notify the complainant and the preferred supplier once the investigation is finalised.

We record all complaints and these can be used to identify a pattern of non-compliance. Substantiated non-compliances can be dealt with under the clauses of the preferred supplier agreement including a notice of breach or by terminating the preferred supplier agreement. Complaints of a serious nature can also be referred to the Legal Services Commissioner.

During 2019–20, we continued to send monthly e-newsletters to inform all preferred suppliers of updates to our policies and procedures, and current issues of interest. Additionally, we began developing broader training materials to support preferred supplier firm interaction with the Grants division and to maintain compliance with our requirements. We also delivered training at the Queensland Law Society Criminal Law Conference and tailored training sessions for individual firms during the year.

Working to improve equitable briefing of barristers

Legal Aid Queensland remains committed to the objective of the Law Council of Australia’s Equitable Briefing Policy of achieving a level playing field for all members of the legal profession, particularly the target of briefing women barristers in at least 30 percent of all matters and paying 30 percent of the value of all brief fees to women barristers.

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the courts’ operations in the final quarter of 2019–20, we have examined the briefing figures for the first nine months of the financial year to measure our success in applying the Equitable Briefing Policy. Our in-house legal practice continues to have no difficulty in exceeding the Law Council of Australia’s target, with 41 percent of briefs allocated to women barristers during the first nine months of 2019–20. We are also pleased to report the percentage of women in-house counsel has increased to 50 percent this year, compared with 45 percent in 2018–19.

We are continuing to implement strategies to encourage private law firms that do legal aid work (preferred suppliers) to adopt the Law Council of Australia’s Equitable Briefing Policy. Our preferred supplier firms are required under their preferred supplier service agreements, when selecting counsel, to make a reasonable endeavour to comply with the Equitable Briefing Policy, and if required, provide information about the efforts made to identify and consider briefing female counsel.

Based on the briefing figures for the first nine months of the financial year, while some firms performing our work still have some way to go in achieving this important objective, we are pleased to note other firms have improved their female briefing rate, with some exceeding the 30 percent target.

As a strong supporter of women in the legal profession, we were delighted to present the Equitable Briefing Award at the 2019 Women Lawyers Association Queensland Awards. Congratulations to law firm Jeffery, Cuddihy and Joyce in Gympie on receiving the Legal Aid Queensland Equitable Briefing Award. We hope this award encourages law firms to reflect on their briefing policies so they brief women barristers more frequently and more women are encouraged to join and remain at the Queensland Bar, enriching the legal profession and the community it serves. We will continue to implement strategies to pursue the Equitable Briefing Policy goals in the years ahead.

Briefing counsel policy and committee

Our In-house Lawyers Briefing Counsel Policy ensures probity and accountability in decisions by our in-house lawyers when briefing counsel.

Our briefing policy sets out general briefing guidelines and provides specific procedures for briefing counsel in expensive or extraordinary cases.

The general briefing guidelines include requirements to:

  • consider the Law Council of Australia’s Equitable Briefing Policy which aims to promote diversity, equality and respect to improve the retention of women barristers within the profession
  • genuinely consider briefing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander barristers where it is possible
  • consider briefing in-house counsel to ensure cost effectiveness
  • briefing regional barristers wherever a barrister of sufficient experience and expertise is available
  • briefing in a way that develops a wide and diverse pool of barristers who can do legal aid work
  • rs who have appropriate experience and expertise
  • being objective, independent, apolitical and impartial.

A Briefing Monitoring Committee is chaired by the CEO to monitor in-house lawyers’ briefing practices and ensure the In-house Lawyers Briefing Counsel Policy’s goals are supported.

Access by disadvantaged groups

Assisting culturally and linguistically diverse clients

During the year, we continued our commitment to clients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. We promoted our services within these communities to increase people’s awareness of Legal Aid Queensland and improve their access to justice by:

  • delivering CLE sessions on common legal topics to people from migrant and refugee backgrounds in a TAFE and settlement support setting
  • distributing translated legal information to people from migrant and refugee backgrounds
  • using free interpreter services for clients in line with the state government’s Language Services Policy
  • promoting our website, which includes a built-in screen reader and translation tool called ‘Browsealoud’, that can translate content into 90 languages.

Improving services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients

We are committed to providing high quality services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. During the year, we:

  • implemented our First Nations Strategic Plan 2018–22, which continues to:
    • increase awareness and accessibility of our services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    • position the organisation as a centre of excellence for culturally capable legal services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    • position us as a significant employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the legal profession
    • contribute to developing a more equitable justice system that addresses the disparity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the broader legal profession
    • continued the Remand Reduction Strategy which provides a legal advice and representation service for young people detained in custody, helping to reduce the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children on remand
  • continued the Child Protection Early Legal Service which provides legal advice and advocacy for vulnerable parents early in child protection intervention, helping to reduce the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the child protection system
  • established partnerships with key Indigenous child protection service providers
  • facilitated the delivery of ongoing cross-cultural awareness training to staff to help ensure staff delivering services are culturally competent
  • enhanced our cultural awareness training to understand the importance of communication for those who speak several Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in a legal setting
  • continued to promote our Indigenous Hotline, which gives priority to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander callers so they can access legal information and advice for the cost of a local call from a landline anywhere in Queensland
  • provided an information stall at NAIDOC Week events in Brisbane, Caboolture, Ipswich, Rockhampton, Townsville, Cairns and Mount Isa
  • assisted the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network to deliver financial planning services to Palm Island people
  • maintained best practice guidelines for in-house and private lawyers performing legal aid work to ensure legal services are provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients in a culturally appropriate way
  • participated in legal assistance forums and the QLAF Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategic Working Group which aim to promote cooperation and collaboration between legal assistance service providers and non-legal services working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • continued to implement our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment plan and increased the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, which improves service delivery to clients
  • continued our graduate lawyer program with one of the graduates being appointed to a permanent lawyer position in Cairns
  • delivered cultural capability training as part of the Youth Practitioner Certification Program for lawyers to more than 600 people across Queensland.

Helping people with a disability

We recognise many people with disabilities experience legal problems and require services that respond to their individual needs and circumstances. Our website is accessible to users, including people with disabilities, as required by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines endorsed by the Australian Government.

Web accessibility focuses on providing equal access and opportunity for people with disabilities. For example, websites should be compatible with screen readers used by people with vision impairment and with devices used by people who cannot use a mouse because of a physical impairment. It also benefits people with literacy issues, older users and mobile device users.

When people with a disability make contact with our client contact centre or visit one of our offices, we have processes in place for identifying their vulnerabilities and giving them priority and supported access to our services.

People who are deaf, or who have a hearing or speech impairment, can contact us through the National Relay Service.

The Client Assistance Service operates in the contact centre to help some of our particularly vulnerable clients, especially those with multiple legal issues, who need extra help to access our services.

In September 2019, we started a new service helping people to share their experiences with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. The service—Your Story Disability Legal Support—is a free and independent national legal service jointly delivered by National Legal Aid and NATSILS. For more information about the service, see page 28.

Legal services for regional, rural and remote Queenslanders

Legal Aid Queensland is committed to providing frontline legal services to rural, regional and remote areas of Queensland. We have 13 regional offices providing services throughout regional Queensland, and a statewide network of regional preferred supplier private law firms that contribute to supporting Queensland’s justice system.

We also work closely with 38 CLCs across the state. Many CLCs help Legal Aid Queensland deliver domestic and family violence duty lawyer services in courts across Queensland.

We provide direct legal services such as grants of aid for court representation, legal information and advice, and duty lawyer services to people in rural, regional and remote Queensland (see Figures 9 and 10). About 40 percent of our legal advice and representation services are delivered to clients in non-metropolitan areas.

Other frontline legal aid services available to regional Queenslanders include:

  • criminal law duty lawyer services in Magistrates and Childrens Courts in regional towns across Queensland
  • family law duty lawyer services in Townsville, Cairns, Mackay, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Maroochydore, Toowoomba, Southport, Hervey Bay and Ipswich
  • domestic and family violence duty lawyer services in Richlands, Beenleigh, Southport, Caboolture, Holland Park, Cleveland, Pine Rivers, Redcliffe, Sandgate, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Maroochydore, Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns, Mount Isa and Palm Island
  • child protection duty lawyer services in Ipswich, Pine Rivers, Caboolture, Cleveland, Southport, Maroochydore, Gladstone, Mackay, Cairns and Townsville
  • child protection legal advice services in Mount Isa, Mackay, Longreach, Emerald, Biloela, Gladstone, Kingaroy, Cherbourg, Murgon, Cleveland, Roma, Charleville and Cunnamulla
  • a Domestic Violence Service in Rockhampton, which meets clients’ legal and non-legal needs
  • a Farm and Rural Legal Service, which provides free legal help to Queensland farmers and primary producers experiencing financial hardship related to their business, including those with severe debt problems or those in dispute with their lenders
  • providing legal help to residents of bushfire and flood affected areas of Queensland
  • in-house counsel appearing in regional and remote courts including circuits to Mount Isa, the Gulf of Carpentaria, Thursday Island, Cape York Peninsula, Bowen, Charters Towers, Hervey Bay, Gympie, Bundaberg, Kingaroy and Maryborough
  • legal outreach clinics, where lawyers travel to surrounding regions or link in by videoconference to provide legal advice services, to Cooktown and Tully (Cairns office), Bribie Island (Caboolture office in conjunction with local CLCs), and Dirranbandi, Goondiwindi and Tara (Toowoomba office).

We also:

  • help the ATSILS and the courts on circuit to the remote areas of Normanton, Burketown, Mornington Island and Doomadgee (from our Mount Isa office), and Thursday Island and other Torres Strait Islands (from our Cairns office)
  • provide a statewide telephone legal information line and an Indigenous Hotline where people can call from a landline from anywhere in Queensland for the cost of a local call
  • work with 42 community access points across Queensland that provide information about our services, access to some of our publications, and help people access free telephone legal advice.

Women as a priority client group

We treat women, especially women experiencing domestic and family violence, as a priority client group. We support the Queensland Government strategy to reduce domestic and family violence by delivering legal information, advice and representation to disadvantaged Queenslanders experiencing domestic and family violence. We support and acknowledge Queensland’s domestic violence laws’ objective—to maximise or increase the safety, protection and wellbeing of people who fear or experience domestic violence, including their children.

Our specialist Violence Prevention and Women’s Advocacy team works with clients who experience domestic and family violence. Their mission is to increase women’s access to our services and improve our responsiveness to meet women’s legal needs. They work to develop and maintain effective working relationships with service providers and identify, review and respond to issues impacting on women’s access to justice.

The team acts for women with complex legal issues in the areas of family law, child protection, discrimination, domestic violence and crime. They also provide services to women from culturally diverse backgrounds and women with intellectual disabilities. We have a network of family lawyers in our 13 regional offices who deliver legal services to local communities in response to issues arising from family relationships, including domestic and family violence, and child protection.

Our Violence Against Women Strategy is an integrated, collaborative and consistent response to clients who have been affected by domestic and family violence. Under the strategy, we have developed and implemented practical tools for our practitioners including:

  • Best practice guidelines for working with people who have experienced domestic violence
  • Best practice guidelines for lawyers working with respondents in domestic violence proceedings
  • Best practice guidelines for working with sexual assault victims
  • a domestic violence risk assessment tool
  • an internal policy for responding to staff experiencing domestic violence.

Figure 9 Legal advices provided by location 2019-20  

Figure 9. Legal advices provided by location 2019-20

Figure 10 Applications for grants of aid received by location 2019-20  

Figure 10. Applications for grants of aid received by location 2019-20

Key disadvantaged group

Criminal law %

Family law %

Civil law %

Total %

Legal advice

Regional and remote
Culturally diverse





Applications received

Regional and remote
Culturally diverse





Applications approved

Regional and remote
Culturally diverse





Table 6. Access by key disadvantaged groups 2019–20

12. Objective 2. Progress our vision through collaboration and policy leadership

Queensland Legal Assistance Forum

The QLAF helps member organisations address legal assistance issues by facilitating cooperative working relationships with other legal service providers in rural and regional areas. Legal Aid Queensland provides secretariat support to the forum.

This year, the QLAF developed a two-year strategic plan, with the following objectives:

  • to become better engaged, informed and connected with the RLAFs and working groups
  • to actively review the RLAFs’ regional plans and support RLAFs to develop plans
  • to facilitate opportunities for information sharing between legal services and social services sectors
  • to understand, influence and contribute to the practical implementation and application of the Human Rights Act 2019 with particular focus on ATSILS and other highly-vulnerable cohorts
  • to seek funding to map the legal needs of, and legal assistance services for, marginailsed and vulnerable people across Queensland.

There are five specialist forums under the QLAF:

  • Best Practice and Evidence Based Working Group—to promote cooperation and collaboration between legal and non-legal service providers to improve the quality and effectiveness of services and client outcomes through improved practice, efficient systems and professional, well-trained staff.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Service Planning Working Group—to promote cooperation and collaboration between legal assistance service providers and non-legal services, including social, community and health services working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Mental Health Service Planning Working Group—to promote cooperation and collaboration between legal and non-legal service providers, including social, community and health services working with people with mental health issues, intellectual disability or cognitive impairment.
  • Children and Families Legal Assistance Forum—to encourage cooperation and collaboration between legal assistance service providers working with families and children and to promote good practice across legal assistance services in delivering legal and related services to families and children. The forum comprises a Steering Committee and two associated working groups:
    • a Training Committee
    • a Child Protection Service Delivery Committee.

The Domestic and Family Violence Advisory Committee was discontinued in October 2019 as it had fulfilled its purpose. However, issues relating to this legal need are still updated to the Steering Committee.

  • Community Legal Education Legal Assistance Forum—to promote cooperation and collaboration between legal service providers who are delivering and initiating CLE activities. This allows service providers to share CLE information and resources to avoid duplication and fosters good CLE practice.

Regional Legal Assistance Forums

There are 12 RLAFs around the state, based around the regional Legal Aid Queensland offices. During 2019–20, we continued to coordinate the work of those forums. The RLAFs aim to encourage collaborative and cooperative working relationships between legal aid service providers in each region. By working together service providers have been able to identify emerging legal needs in their communities and help determine which legal service is best placed to meet legal needs and ultimately reduce service delivery gaps.

RLAFs continue to broaden their memberships and collaborations in their regions. For example, several RLAFs have added to their membership representatives from their local Murri Court, Youth Justice office, and court registrars. This has proved very beneficial to streamlining access to justice,and improving client outcomes by better collaboration with local agencies and the court.

One RLAF successfully applied for funding from the CLE Collaboration Fund which is offered annually. The Rockhampton RLAF First Nations Community Arts project will facilitate an avenue for young people to complete community service obligations by participating in a number of arts/CLE workshops directed by Indigenous artists and attended by local Elders and appropriate support services. This process will link the young people with opportunities for additional learning, possible training and education pathways and help to reduce their risk of further involvement with the criminal justice system, while also creating an artwork that can be visible in the community.

Supporting community legal centres

We act as state program manager for CLCs, monitoring their financial reporting and ensuring service delivery targets are met. During 2019–20, we administered funding on behalf of state and federal governments to 38 organisations throughout Queensland (see Table 7 for more information).

The state government also provided $223,000 through its project funding account to the following organisations for the following projects:

  • Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia – Mental Health Act 2016 Collaboration Project ($50,000)
  • Community Legal Centres Queensland – Digital Framework ($113,000)
  • LawRight – Law Yarn ($60,000).

Twenty-seven funded organisations also received a share in the Digital Project funding pool, totaling $262,399 in grants.

Extra funding was provided to 11 organisations for the following purposes:

  • Caxton Legal Centre – Coronial Assistance Service ($100,000)
  • Community Legal Centres Queensland – National Accreditation Scheme ($50,892), Human Rights Act ($90,000), Client survey coordination ($30,000) and COVID-19 Sector Support ($5000)
  • RAILS – Legacy Casework Visa process ($77,592)
  • Townsville CLC – Delivery of specialist legal assistance services in response to 2019 floods ($100,000)
  • Court Network – QCAT Services ($50,000)
  • HUB Community Legal – Queensland Foster and Kinship Care Legal Support ($175,000) and Translating brochures ($4400)
  • Women’s Legal Service – Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre service ($12,000) and Southern Queensland Correctional Centre service ($9000)
  • LawRight – LawYarn ($50,000)
  • Basic Rights Queensland – Security services ($25,620) and relocation costs ($27,835)
  • Gold Coast CLC – Establishing Ormeau outreach ($18,233)
  • Prisoners’ Legal Service – COVID-19 Parole Service ($120,000).

Community legal centre

Federal government funding $

State government funding $

Total recurrent funding $

Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia Ltd




ATSI Women's Legal Service NQ Inc.




Basic Rights Queensland Inc.




Bayside Community Legal Service Inc.




Cairns Community Legal Centre Inc.




Care Goondiwindi Association Inc.




Carers Queensland Inc.




Caxton Legal Centre Inc.








Central Qld Community Legal Centre Inc.




Community Legal Centres Queensland



Court Network Incorporated




DVConnect Ltd




Environmental Defenders Office Queensland



Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland



Environmental Defenders Office Ltd



Gladstone Community Legal Advice Program




Gold Coast Community Legal Centre & Advice Bureau Inc.








LGBTI Legal Service Inc.



Mackay Regional Community Legal Centre Inc.




Moreton Bay Regional Community Legal Service Inc.




North Queensland Women's Legal Service Inc.




Nundah Community Legal Service




Pine Rivers Community Legal Service




Prisoners Legal Service Inc.




Queensland Advocacy Inc.




Refugee & Immigration Legal Service Inc.




South West Brisbane Community Legal Centre Inc.




Suncoast Community Legal Service Inc.




Taylor Street Community Legal Service




Tenants Queensland Inc.




TASC National Ltd




Townsville Community Legal Service Inc.




Western Queensland Justice Network




Women's Legal Service Inc.




Youth Advocacy Centre Inc.




YFS Legal








Table 7. Recurrent funding for CLCs from state and federal governments 2019–20

Law and legal service reform

In 2019–20, we continued to respond to policy and legislative reform proposals from state and federal governments, commissions of inquiry and industry bodies.

We provided submissions on:

Criminal law and youth justice

  • Police Powers and Responsibilities and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019
  • Proposed amendments to Appeal Costs Funds Act 1973 and Coroners Act 1973
  • Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019
  • Penalties for assaults on public officers (Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council consultation)
  • Review of consent laws and excuse of mistake of fact (Queensland Law Reform Commission consultation)
  • Department of Justice and Attorney-General Recommendations arising out of the Daniel Morcombe inquest (Queensland Law Reform Commission consultation)

Consumer and credit law

  • Australia Government Treasury’s consultation on Open Banking designation instrument
  • Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC) consultation Credit licensing: approach to responsible lending
  • ASIC’s consultation Using the product intervention power: short term credit (two submissions)
  • ASIC’s consultation Internal dispute resolution: update to RG 165
  • Australia Government Treasury’s extending unfair contract terms to insurance contracts exposure draft legislation
  • ASIC’s consultation Unsolicited telephone sales of direct life insurance and consumer credit insurance
  • Australia Government Treasury’s draft legislation on Mandatory comprehensive credit reporting and hardship arrangements
  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Northern Australia Insurance Inquiry
  • Australia Government Treasury’s proposed reforms to the sale of add-on insurance products
  • Australia Government Treasury’s mortgage broker best interests duty and remuneration reforms
  • Australian Banking Association’s application to amend the Banking Code of Practice
  • Australia Government Treasury’s consultation on the removal of the exemption for funeral expenses policy
  • Australia Government Treasury’s Consumer data right regime – privacy impact assessment
  • ASIC’s consultation Draft legislative instrument for unsolicited telephone sales of direct life insurance and consumer credit insurance
  • ASIC’s consultation Product intervention: the sale of add-on financial products through caryard intermediaries
  • Australia Government Treasury’s consultation Making insurance claims handling a financial service
  • ASIC’s consultation Product intervention orders and add-on products
  • Australia Government Treasury’s discussion paper Implementing Royal Commission Recommendation 7.1 – Establishing a Compensation Scheme of Last Resort
  • Senate inquiry on the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Small Amount Credit Contract and Consumer Lease Reforms) Bill
  • Australian Banking Association’s consultation paper about the use of credit cards for gambling
  • Australia Government Treasury’s consultation Financial Services Royal Commission – Enhancing consumer protections and strengthening regulators
  • ASIC’s consultation Product design and distribution obligations
  • Australian Finance Industry Association’s consultation on the Buy now pay later code of practice
  • ASIC’s consultation Draft guidance on the new best interests duty for mortgage brokers

Other submissions

  • Elder Abuse Prevention Project
  • Adequacy of Newstart and related payments and alternative mechanisms to determine the level of income support payments in Australia
  • Australian Human Rights Commission discussion paper Priorities for federal discrimination law reform response
  • Religious Freedom Bills 2019

Family law

We also contributed to the following submissions made by National Legal Aid:

  • Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System
  • Council of Attorneys-General Family Violence Working Group Consultation Paper: Options for improving the family violence competency of legal practitioners.

Stakeholder engagement

Working with government and justice system stakeholders

We supported government policy development and the justice system’s efficient management by collaborating with our colleagues in government and the wider justice system.

This involved participating in the:

  • Queensland Courts Safety and Risk Committee
  • Queensland Courts Users Stakeholder Group
  • Streamlining Criminal Justice Committee
  • Federal Circuit Court stakeholders group
  • Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Court Working Group
  • Brisbane Domestic Violence Court Stakeholder Group
  • Brisbane Child Protection Court Stakeholder Group
  • ASIC Consumer Regulator Forum (Queensland)
  • Childrens Court Committees for Youth Justice and Child Protection
  • Watch House Support Group
  • Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council
  • Specialist Court, Referral and Support Services Steering Group
  • Mental Health Review Tribunal stakeholder group.

We also participated in the Queensland Law Society’s Children’s Committee, Criminal Law Committee, Domestic and Family Violence Committee and Family Law Committee, contributing to criminal law, family law, youth justice, child protection, and domestic and family violence policy.

Industry Reference Group

The Industry Reference Group provides a regular forum for consultation with the legal profession and for discussing and managing stakeholder concerns. The group comprises nominated representatives from the Queensland Law Society and Bar Association of Queensland and is chaired by Legal Aid Queensland’s CEO.

The group met twice during the year. During these meetings members were consulted on and provided feedback about:

  • introducing limited financial verification for low risk matters aimed at streamlining the legal aid application assessment process
  • the annual fees review
  • new family law initiatives including the family violence and cross examination scheme, property law mediation pilot and family advocacy support services
  • the complex criminal case barrister panel
  • compulsory training for practitioners undertaking work on the criminal law youth panel
  • Legal Aid Queensland’s response to COVID-19
  • proposed redesign of the Legal Aid Queensland application form to remove inefficiencies and improve client expectations. 

13. Objective 3. Build on our business capability and sustainability

Our people

Workforce plan

Our workforce plan outlines strategies and initiatives relating to attracting, motivating, developing and retaining employees and their safety. It also includes responses to the Working for Queensland Employee Opinion Survey results and considers relevant government policies (eg Code of Conduct, union encouragement and flexible work practices). These focus areas have been identified as important to achieving desired workforce outcomes and we are continually building on our existing strengths and addressing identified opportunities. During the year, we made progress in implementing initiatives from our workforce plan.

Learning and development

We continued to provide our in-house CPD program during 2019–20. Most sessions are open to all staff, as well as law firms that provide legal aid services, CLCs and the ATSILS. Sessions are available face-to-face or via videoconferencing or webinar and are usually recorded so they can be accessed later. Our program aims to ensure our lawyers and those that provide legal aid services are up to date with the latest legislation changes and have the opportunity to develop their professional skills and legal knowledge. The program allows legal staff to earn CPD points, which are needed to renew practising certificates each year.

Other development opportunities for staff included:

Conferences and intensives
  • Civil law conference
  • Child protection and separate representative intensive
  • Dispute resolution conference organisers training
  • Dispute resolution practitioner training
  • National independent children’s lawyer intensives
  • Public defenders conference
  • Criminal law duty lawyer Intensive
  • Grants officers conference
  • Youth practitioner certification training
Cultural competency program
  • Cultural awareness training
  • Cross cultural communication
  • Cultural competency series
Psychological wellness training program
  • Vicarious trauma related training
  • Responding to threats of harm training
  • Managing aggressive client behaviour
  • Sustaining resilience training
  • Trauma informed practice training
Essential skills
  • Code of Conduct
  • Induction training for all new staff
  • Human rights training day
  • Regional systems training
  • Work, health and safety incident reporting training
  • Applying for jobs training
  • Train the trainer workshops
  • Change management training
  • Effective planning and time management training
  • Risk management training
  • Presentation skills training
  • Computer systems training including in-house systems
  • Achievement development plan training
Leadership pathways program
  • New managers course
  • Recruitment and selection training
  • Supervision and feedback training
  • Transitioning to management training
  • Corporate skills for new managers
  • Corporate governance.

Staff have access to the Study and Research Assistance Scheme and the Certified Agreement training initiatives, which provide funds for higher educational requirements. Staff can also access external training and conferences for individual development needs.

We also provided staff with face-to-face and online e-learning opportunities to familiarise them with our policies and procedures, and to develop their skills and knowledge. Most in-house training is regularly reviewed by staff evaluations and improvements are made where appropriate and in conjunction with the facilitator.

Attracting and retaining staff

We want our staff to be able to find an appropriate work-life balance. During the year, we continued to offer and promote flexible working options, including accessing accrued time leave, working part time, job sharing, telecommuting and purchased leave arrangements. We also continued to provide remote computer access to many staff.

We have implemented strategies to help our staff effectively manage the possible impact of their work on their mental health and emotional wellbeing. We are particularly aware our lawyers, grants officers and support staff are routinely involved in work that is confronting and stressful, which puts them at risk of suffering vicarious trauma. These risks were addressed by arranging workshops on managing the psychological impacts of practising law and managing aggressive client behaviour. We also provided staff with information about support networks and self-help strategies, and access to confidential counselling services (see Figure 11 for staff absenteeism and turnover rates).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment plan

We made significant progress in implementing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment plan.

The plan aims to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment opportunities and retention rates through targeted recruitment and selection processes, inclusive work practices and employee development.

We have increased our percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to 4.59 percent compared with 4.08 percent in 2018–19.

Graduate recruitment program

The graduate program currently has six graduates in regional and Brisbane centres. Three of the graduates identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders.

Workplace composition (full-time equivalents)

At 30 June 2020, Legal Aid Queensland had 569.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees working in 14 offices throughout the state (see Figures 12 and 13 for more information).

Equal employment opportunity

We are committed to equal employment opportunity (EEO) principles and have successfully implemented these principles across the organisation. Our EEO statistics highlight our commitment to equitable recruitment, selection and promotion policies (see Figure 14 for more information).

Figure 11 Staff absenteeism and turnover 2019–20  

Figure 11. Staff absenteeism and turnover 2019-20

Figure 12 Actual staff by employment type (by FTE) 2019-20  

Figure 12. Actual staff by employment type (by FTE) 2019-20

Annual report 13 - staff age profile 2019-20  

Figure 13. Staff age profile (by headcount) 2019–20

Figure 14 Equal employment opportunity target group membership 2019-20  

Figure 14. Equal employment opportunity target group membership 2019-20

Measuring staff satisfaction

We continue to participate in the whole-of-government Working for Queensland Employee Opinion Survey. Our results in 2019 were very positive compared with the wider Queensland public sector. 83 percent of staff completed the survey, with 81 percent of those who responded reporting high levels of engagement. 78 percent of staff indicated they engage in flexible work.

The feedback we received from the survey was invaluable in identifying areas for improvement and we will continue to implement changes in response to the survey feedback. The next survey will be conducted in September 2020.

Code of conduct

Legal Aid Queensland is covered by a whole-of-government Code of Conduct. The single Code of Conduct reflects ethical values contained in the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 and covers the following principles:

  • integrity and impartiality
  • promoting the public good
  • commitment to the system of government
  • accountability and transparency.

The code guides us in managing issues like:

  • conflicts of interest
  • personal conduct
  • commitment to service delivery
  • information sharing and relationship building across agencies
  • adherence to organisational values and policies
  • continuous performance improvement
  • appropriate use of official information and resources.

Our Workplace Behaviours Policy also provides standards relating to appropriate workplace behaviour, and an employee’s Achievement and Development Plan outlines obligations relating to the Code of Conduct. We manage Code of Conduct breaches in line with the Public Service Commission’s Discipline Guide.

We provide staff with Code of Conduct and workplace behaviours training when they start work and then annually.

Our systems and processes

Records and information management

Under the Public Records Act 2002, we are required to make and keep full and accurate records of our activities, and to comply with records and information management policies, standards and guidelines issued by the State Archivist. We use the Micro Focus Records Manager 8 (RM8) electronic document and records management system (eDRMS) and have integrated RM8 with core business systems where appropriate to streamline capturing business records.

In 2019–20, we continued records and information management reforms to improve and support good corporate governance by:

  • consulting with our customers to provide guidance on corporate recordkeeping requirements in relation to the Records Governance Policy
  • refining digitisation processes to continue expanding Legal Aid Queensland’s corporate memory
  • performing risk assessments on process changes and software implementation needed to respond to the COVID-19 situation.

We progressed the transition from paper to digital records by:

  • expanding the digitising processes that can be completed using our statewide fleet of multifunction devices
  • identifying opportunities where a scan-first process can be implemented.

We improved our records and information management system’s reliability and security by:

  • participating in user group sessions to keep abreast of the organisation’s eDRMS capabilities and implement changes
  • starting to upgrade the eDRMS.

We continued to implement appropriate disposal activities by:

  • starting a project that involves reviewing and assigning files to boxes ensuring current software is used efficiently
  • applying the disposal freeze issued by the State Archivist in response to the Royal Commission on Child Sexual Abuse
  • reviewing our disposal procedures and implementing appropriate changes in line with best practice.

We have collaborated with other government agencies to share knowledge about best practice records and information management by participating in:

  • focus group discussions with agencies such as Queensland State Archives
  • professional development opportunities delivered by Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia—the core industry professional body for records and information management.

Library services

Our library provides comprehensive reference, research and research-training services to our staff. It supports legal service delivery, planning and management through its modern collection, knowledge management and current awareness services, and experienced staff.

During the year, we:

  • maintained our specialty collections of criminal law, family law and civil law judgments to provide our lawyers with case law tools designed for their needs
  • trained staff to effectively use legal information resources for legal research
  • produced eight case law and five legislation alerting services for legal teams
  • upgraded the comparable sentences databases to provide new search options for finding relevant cases
  • completed projects to modernise our catalogue and collections and manage our electronic resources.

Key in-house legal information resources are available to preferred supplier law firms, CLCs and the ATSILS to help them provide high quality legal services to clients.

Reducing environmental impact

During 2019–20, we continued work to improve energy and conservation efficiencies to help reduce our environmental impact.

Efforts to achieve savings have continued through:

  • expanding the new lighting system installed as part of our main Brisbane office’s refurbishment
  • using multifunctional devices for printing, copying, faxing and scanning, reducing our energy use and carbon footprint
  • using rain water collected in our three 16,000 litre water tanks to flush our toilets and irrigate our gardens at our 44 Herschel Street, Brisbane office building
  • reusing water (condensation) from our air-conditioning systems to flush our toilets
  • closely measuring, monitoring and publicising our energy and water use figures to inform and encourage staff
  • implementing an electronic electricity use and reporting tool, which is monitored daily
  • monitoring our daily water use to check for potential water leaks in our systems and reporting on water loss
  • reducing our air-conditioning use during the cooler months
  • using a high efficiency water chiller for our air-conditioning system, which effectively shuts down during low cooling demand periods
  • modifying our air-conditioning water pumps so they shut down when the chiller cycles off
  • increasing sensor lighting to reduce energy use
  • introducing timer technology to reduce use of water boilers, hot water systems and water pumps
  • venting our 44 Herschel Street, Brisbane office building early in the morning in hotter months to expel hot air accumulated overnight and therefore reducing the load on the air-conditioning system
  • educating staff about ways they can help save water and energy
  • managing our cleaning contract and service hours to reduce after-hours lighting use
  • participating in a long term whole-of-government energy supply contract to increase purchasing power and improve supply conditions, while also reducing energy pricing and costs
  • using videoconferencing facilities to reduce transport-related carbon emissions, energy use and associated costs
  • choosing more energy efficient cars when replacing vehicles in our fleet
  • recycling paper, cardboard, cans, glass and printer toner cartridges
  • participating in events like Earth Hour
  • constantly looking for opportunities to further reduce our water and energy use.

Figure 15 Herschel St Brisbane office water consumption

Figure 15. Herschel St, Brisbane office water consumption

Figure 16 Herschel St Brisbane office energy consumption

Figure 16. Herschel St, Brisbane office energy consumption

Information Communication and Technology program

During 2019–20, we continued to complete all scheduled work within the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) 2017–20 Strategic Plan. We also started several business improvement projects related to establishing a robust infrastructure, improving mobility and implementing modern technologies.

The ICT 2017–20 Strategic Plan includes the service delivery and strategic direction Information Technology (IT) Services are undertaking to support the organisation. The plan outlines the key areas in which IT Services will focus planning, investment and delivery through four strategic objectives:

  • supporting the effective and efficient operation of the organisation and its business through ICT
  • advancing the organisation’s business with better use of ICT on a modern mobile digital platform
  • engaging more easily with the public, preferred suppliers, government departments and non-governmental organisations
  • building a capable, trusted and more forward-looking ICT provider.

During the year, we:

  • implemented Office 365 and Windows 10 across all Legal Aid Queensland computers; this has been essential to allow work from home capability during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • reviewed two legacy business critical, bespoke systems and determined these should be replaced when funding is available
  • conducted a Disaster Recovery Test to verify business continuity processes
  • conducted a server replacement project to replace 86 servers that are essential for business continuity
  • conducted a statewide Uninterrupted Power Supply upgrade that are essential for LAQ business continuity
  • continued working towards completing initiatives outlined in the ICT 2017–20 Strategic Plan and developed the ICT Strategic Plan 2020–23
  • completed multiple projects to enable working from home at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
    • upgrading the internet connection and associated hardware to allow all staff to work from home
    • rolling out 200 new laptops to staff
    • implementing multiple communication technologies to allow all staff to use videoconferencing and collaboration tools
    • upgrading software and hardware capabilities to allow staff to access business critical systems
    • implementing softphone capabilities so staff can make/receive calls on their mobile device.

Open data

Data about the Queensland Language Services Policy is available on the Queensland Government Open Data portal. To access more information, government data and the Annual Report 2019–20 Open Data, visit www.data.qld.gov.au

15. Acronymns and abbreviations


Australian Accounting Standards Board


Administrative Appeals Tribunal


Annual report requirements for Queensland Government agencies


Australian Securities and Investment Commission


Australian Taxation Office


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service


Chief executive officer


Chief finance officer


Community legal centre


Community legal education


Continuing professional development


Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003


Electronic document and records management system


Equal employment opportunity


Fringe Benefits Tax


Financial Accountability Act 2009


First Advice Contact Team


Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009


Full-time equivalent


Goods and Services Tax


International Accounting Standards Board


Information Communication and Technology


Information technology


Legal Practitioner Interest on
Trust Accounts Fund


Mental Health Review Tribunal


National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services


No Body, No Parole


National Disability Insurance Agency


National Disability Insurance Scheme


National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services


Office of Economic and Statistical Research


People, Culture and Capability


Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal


Queensland Human Rights Commission


Queensland Legal Assistance Forum


Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council


Refugee and Immigration Legal Service


Regional Legal Assistance Forum


Records Manager 8


State Valuation Services

16. Appendix

Compliance checklist

Summary of requirement

Basis for requirement

Annual report reference

Letter of compliance

  • A letter of compliance from the accountable officer or statutory body to the relevant Minister/s

ARRs – section 7



  • Table of contents
  • Glossary

ARRs – section 9.1


  • Public availability

ARRs – section 9.2


  • Interpreter service statement

Queensland Government Language Services Policy

ARRs – section 9.3


  • Copyright notice

Copyright Act 1968

ARRs – section 9.4


  • Information licensing

QGEA – Information Licensing

ARRs – section 9.5


General information

  • Introductory information

ARRs – section 10.1

3–6, 22

  • Machinery of Government changes

ARRs – section 10.2,
31 and 32


  • Agency role and main functions

ARRs – section 10.2


  • Operating environment

ARRs – section 10.3

3–9, 17–18

Non-financial performance

  • Government’s objectives for the community

ARRs – section 11.1


  • Other whole-of-government plans/specific initiatives

ARRs – section 11.2


  • Agency objectives and performance indicators

ARRs – section 11.3

17–18, 26, 45, 50

  • Agency service areas and service standards

ARRs – section 11.4


Financial performance

  • Summary of financial performance

ARRs – section 12.1


Governance – management
and structure

  • Organisational structure

ARRs – section 13.1


  • Executive management

ARRs – section 13.2


  • Government bodies (statutory bodies
    and other entities)

ARRs – section 13.3


  • Public Sector Ethics Act 1994

Public Sector Ethics Act 1994ARRs – section 13.4


  • Human Rights

Human Rights Act 2019
ARRs – section 13.5


  • Queensland public service values

ARRs – section 13.6


Governance – risk management and accountability

  • Risk management

ARRs – section 14.1


  • Audit committee

ARRs – section 14.2


  • Internal audit

ARRs – section 14.3


  • External scrutiny

ARRs – section 14.4


  • Information systems and recordkeeping

ARRs – section 14.5


Governance – human resources

  • Strategic workforce planning and performance

ARRs – section 15.1


  • Early retirement, redundancy and retrenchment

Directive No.04/18
Early Retirement, Redundancy and Retrenchment

ARRs – section 15.2


Open Data

  • Statement advising publication of information

ARRs – section 16


  • Consultancies

ARRs – section 33.1


  • Overseas travel

ARRs – section 33.2


  • Queensland Language Services Policy

ARRs – section 33.3


Financial statements

  • Certification of financial statements

FAA – section 62

FPMS – sections
38, 39 and 46

ARRs – section 17.1


  • Independent Auditor’s Report


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