Areas of law and how we deliver our services

How can we help you?
When do we offer appointments?
Flood Legal Assistance Service/ Flood Advocacy and Support
Human Rights and Civil Law Service
Social Security Rights Service
Family Violence Migration Legal Service
Seniors Legal and Support Service
Seniors Financial Protections Service
Family law service
Coronial Assistance Legal Service
What we can't do

How can we help you?Back to top

We can:

Give you basic legal information;
Refer you to private solicitors;
Refer you to other legal service providers;
Refer you to other appropriate agencies; and
Give you legal advice.

We also represent people in Courts, Tribunals and other settings as our resources and casework guidelines permit.

We also undertake:

Community legal education;
Community development projects; and
Law reform and legal policy submissions.

When do we offer appointments?Back to top

Our daytime legal services include the Social Security Rights Service, the Family Violence Migration Legal Service, the Seniors Legal and Support Service, the Coronial Assistance Legal Service, the Human Rights and Civil Law Service, and some family law appointments. Our daytime office hours are 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. We are closed for lunch from 1pm-2pm.

Our Tuesday evening legal advice service is dedicated to family law advice. We can advise on many legal matters during our Thursday evening legal advice service, including family law. Evening legal advice appointments are offered between 6pm and 8pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Just contact us by telephone or in person, and we'll sort out the most appropriate service to address your legal issue and your individual circumstances.


Flood Legal Assistance Service/ Flood Advocacy and SupportBack to top

We provide a free Flood Legal Assistance Service and Flood Advocacy and Support to people affected by February 2019 flooding in Townsville and surrounding areas. We can offer legal assistance in areas including insurance, tenancy, consumer and debt, employment, emergency hardship payments, and other Centrelink issues.

Some exclusions apply.

Human Rights and Civil Law ServiceBack to top

We offer legal advice and other services across a wide range of legal issues, including:

Human rights;
Motor vehicle property damage;
Consumer disputes;
Insurance disputes;
Neighbour issues (dividing fences and trees);
Wills and estates;
Some traffic matters;
Contracts and debts;
Civil disputes (including defamation); and
Right to information and information privacy.

Social Security Rights ServiceBack to top

We can help you to:

Access your Department of Human Services (Centrelink) files using Freedom of Information legislation;
Appeal decisions made by the Department of Human Services;
In some circumstances, we can represent you in the the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or the Federal Court.

Townsville Community Legal Service is a member of the National Social Security Rights Network. The National Social Security Rights Network's website has information on many common Centrelink issues.

National Social Security Rights Network

Family Violence Migration Legal ServiceBack to top

Our Registered Migration Agent and lawyer (William Mitchell MARN 0215663) can provide advice and assistance in migration matters involving family and domestic violence.

In Australia, only individuals who are registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority and who are listed on the Register of Migration Agents can provide immigration assistance, except where an exemption is provided for by the Migration Act 1958 and or the Migration Agents Regulations 1998.

Search for a Registered Migration Agent on the Migration Agents Registration Authority's website.
Read the Migration Agent Code of Conduct.

Seniors Legal and Support ServiceBack to top

We provide free legal and support services for seniors who are experiencing, witnessing or concerned about elder abuse, mistreatment or financial exploitation.

Elder abuse is any act within a relationship of trust which results in harm to an older person. It can include:

Intentionally hurting a person, e.g., slapping, hitting or mistreating someone;
Intentionally damaging another person's property, e.g., hurting pets or breaking belongings;
Verbal intimidation, humiliation, harassment or threats of physical harm or abandonment;
Unwanted sexual approaches or indecent behaviour towards another person;
Preventing a person from seeing others or denying them the right to make their own decisions; or
Intentional or unintentional failure to provide adequate care.

Financial exploitation can include:

The illegal or improper use or misappropriation of a person's property or finances;
Forced changes to a will or other legal documents;
Denying someone the right to access and control their personal funds; or
Unfair or fraudulent practices relating to retirement villages, aged rental accommodation or residential parks.

We can:

Provide information, advice and support regarding elder abuse, mistreatment or financial exploitation;
Provide short-term counselling;
Provide information on your legal rights;
Refer you to other legal, consumer and support services;
Represent you in court or before tribunals (in certain circumstances); and
Provide community education.

The Seniors Legal and Support Service cannot assist in all areas of law. We cannot prepare wills or powers of attorney; or provide advice on real estate, financial or investment planning. If we are unable to assist you, we will make every effort to refer you to an appropriate service.

If you are unable to visit our office, we can usually arrange a telephone consultation or a meeting at your home if you live in the Townsville area.

Seniors Financial Protections ServiceBack to top

The Seniors Financial Protections Service is an outreach-based service for people who are thinking about decisions that need to be made about how to protect their finances in later life.

We can discuss issues including:

accommodation planning, aged care and home care;
budgeting and managing expenses and debt;
retirement planning;
superannuation, equity release products, credit and loans in retirement;
future planning for your financial affairs and health care decisions;
co-living and family agreements about care and assets; and
loans, guarantees and other agreements about money.

We can help by connecting you with financial services, including a referral to the National Seniors Financial Literacy Service. Free membership may be available to the National Seniors Financial Literacy Service.

The Seniors Financial Protections Service does not offer financial advice or financial assistance (such as emergency payments).

Family law serviceBack to top

We can give you family law advice. In some limited circumstances, we may be able to provide further assistance with your family law matter.

If you are going through the Family Relationship Centre intake process, you may be referred to us for family law advice.

We are also a Family Advocacy and Support Service duty lawyer in partnership with Legal Aid Queensland. This duty lawyer service is only available to parties with a family law matter in the Federal Circuit Court duty list, or through Registry referral to the Legal Aid Queensland FASS intake worker. If you have a matter in the Federal Circuit Court duty list, please speak with Legal Aid Queensland's FASS intake worker.

Coronial Assistance Legal ServiceBack to top

The Coronial Assistance Legal Service:

provides legal advice about the coronial process
can provide representation for bereaved family members appearing in some inquests when the matter fits within our service guidelines
works with other service providers to help families connect with social work, counselling and other support services.

What we can't doBack to top

We're a free service, but our resources and funding are limited.

We can't promise Court or Tribunal representation to everyone. We have to take into account a number of factors including casework guidelines, funding requirements, prospects of success, client circumstances and capacity, and a number of other factors. We will always let you know the extent of services that we can offer in your legal matter.

Our legal services are by appointment only. We are unable to offer instant advice by telephone. We have to determine the most appropriate service for your needs, coordinate available volunteer lawyers and appointments, and make sure that you have the most comprehensive legal advice by ensuring that you can provide all relevant documents to solicitors.

We can't assist with legal issues involving:

Mortgage certification (due to our insurance policy);
Native title advice and services (due to our insurance policy);
Personal injuries;
Advice or assistance to businesses on commercial matters, including commercial litigation and employment law issues;
Advice or assistance to landlords;
Matters outside of our casework guidelines (eg skilled migration matters); or
Where there is an existing service that a client may access, and our involvement would unnecessarily duplicate that service (eg, free will-making through the Public Trustee of Queensland).