The Mackay Regional Community Legal Centre Inc. (MRCLC) provides free and confidential legal advice, information, referrals and ongoing assistance to financially disadvantaged people in the Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac Regional Council areas. MRCLC can also provide community legal education on various topics throughout this region.
MRCLC is a free and independent legal service for people who live in the Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac Regional Council areas or satisfy other eligibility criteria. MRCLC offers the following services:
· Generalist legal service - Legal advice in many areas of law, but not conveyancing, criminal law, commercial matters, personal injuries, preparation of wills and some other areas.
· Queensland Statewide Tenant Advice and Referral Service (QSTARS) - The MRCLC works with Tenants Queensland Inc. (TQ) to provide advice and legal assistance to tenants and rooming accommodation residents pursuant to the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008, mostly via referrals from QSTARS hub.
· Domestic Violence Duty Lawyer Service - At the Mackay courthouse on a fortnightly basis through an agreement with Legal Aid Queensland. The MRCLC is rostered to assist the aggrieved.
· Mental Health Review Tribunal Representation Service - The MRCLC accepts referrals from Legal Aid Queensland to provide advice and representation at the Mental Health Review Tribunal where legal representation is mandated in the Mental Health Act 2016.
· Outreach – Depending on demand, MRCLC provides advice every month over two days at the Proserpine Community Centre, Bowen Neighbourhood Centre and Whitsunday Counselling and Support Inc. in Cannonvale, and once per month at the Sarine Neighbourhood Centre.
· Legal Advice Evenings - MRCLC operates Legal Advice Evenings, staffed by volunteer lawyers, co-ordinators, and a social worker on the first Wednesday and third Tuesday evenings of the month in Mackay.
· Migration Service is available in limited matters when the MRCLC has a volunteer Registered Migration Agent. Immigration advice, information and referrals may be provided.
Access and Equity Statement
MRCLC is committed to maximising access to the organisation’s services for everyone within the agreed target client group and to ensuring equity of access across eligible service users. MRCLC will work within its available resources while endeavouring to optimise access for people to its services and activities. MRCLC aims to create a positive and non-prejudicial environment and atmosphere in all our contacts and activities. We recognise that an access and equity strategy is an ongoing commitment that requires continual evaluation and review.
Privacy and Confidentiality Statement
MRCLC is committed to providing a quality service to all clients and will adhere to the following standards:
· Explain our services and how you can use them
· Be courteous and approachable
· Actively listen to you, treat you as an individual and try to meet any special needs by:
o using an interpreter when appropriate - this can be arranged at no cost to you.
o ensuring our service delivery is sensitive and culturally appropriate to people from non-English speaking and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds
o enquiring about domestic violence where applicable and ensuring your safety is a priority
· Use language you understand
· Ensure your confidentiality
· Provide accurate and appropriate information and advice
· Discuss your legal problem and help you understand available options
Expectation of Clients
· Let us know if you have any particular needs
· Give us complete, honest and accurate information
· Bring relevant documents and written information with you
· Let us know if you need to cancel an appointment
· Let us know if you change your address or phone number
· Treat staff and volunteers with courtesy, respect and consideration
WHAT A LAWYER CAN DO FOR YOU
A lawyer CAN tell you what the law says in a way that you understand.
A lawyer CAN give you choices about what you can do.
A lawyer CAN tell you about other services.
A lawyer CAN tell you what is happening with your case.
WHAT A LAWYER CAN’T DO FOR YOU
A lawyer CAN’T spend all their time on your problem.
A lawyer CAN’T do everything right away.
A lawyer CAN’T always say for sure what will happen.
A lawyer CAN’T always be available for your phone calls.
A lawyer CAN’T offer financial or taxation advice.
When our service has a volunteer Registered Migration Agent, they may provide information, advice and referrals to financially disadvantaged people. They cannot prepare an application for you. The types of Visas that the Migration Agent can provide information or advice about is limited. The Registered Migration Agent will often not be a lawyer.
All migration advice is given by a Registered Migration Agent, who must comply with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) Code of Conduct. A copy of the Code of Conduct is available in our reception area, and is also available at www.mara.gov.au. You will be provided with a copy to read before receiving migration advice.
MRCLC is not part of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection or any other government department.
Client Feedback & Complaints Process
Feedback may be provided by individual clients and stakeholders on their own initiative or in response to requests from the MRCLC. Individual clients and stakeholders may provide feedback by taking part in MRCLC’s Client Satisfaction Survey, completing a Client Evaluation Form (can be provided upon request) and making a complaint to the Centre.
MRCLC is committed to ensuring that any person or organisation using MRCLC’s services or affected by its operations has the right to lodge a complaint or to appeal a decision of the organisation and to have their concerns addressed in ways that ensure access and equity, fairness, accountability and transparency. A person wishing to make a complaint should do so in the following order:
1. To the staff member or Migration Agent concerned.
2. To the Manager and Principal Solicitor. If not satisfied with this discussion, a written complaint should be directed to the Manager and Principal Solicitor.
3. A written complaint to the President of the Management Committee
4. If not satisfied with the outcome from all of the above, then you may wish to make an application to:
- For legal matters – the Legal Services Commission. Phone No. 1300 655 754 or call 131 450 if you require an interpreter. Further information can be found at their website: lsc.qld.gov.au.
- For migration matters – The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority on 1300 226 272. You can also visit their website at mara.gov.au.
Written complaints may be posted, hand delivered or emailed to the Centre. Complaints must be made in writing unless the complainant is unable to read or write, in which case a verbal complaint may be accepted. A hard copy of this Client Charter can be provided to you upon request. Further information about making a complaint or appealing a decision can be provided upon request.
Address: Suite 9 The Dome
134 Victoria Street
PO Box 995
Mackay QLD 4740
Phone: (07) 4953 1211
Fax: (07) 4953 1644
Office hours: Monday to Friday 9am – 4pm.