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Legal Essentials

May 28, 2020

When it comes to the law, the problem usually won't improve if you just ignore it. The potential cost of legal advice is the main reason women avoid seeking help. If this is you, then search for a legal service for low or no cost legal advice.

Why would I need this information?

  • You are in dispute with your landlord
  • If you and your partner are separating or separated and you need to finalise a property settlement
  • Someone is taking legal action against you
  • You don't have a current will
  • You need help gaining permanent residency
  • You have had an accident and are entitled to compensation
  • You are the victim of domestic or elder abuse
  • You are buying or selling property, including buying into forms of “over 50s” housing

Getting Started

  1. Identify any current legal issues
  2. Do you need legal advice to move forward?
  3. Find a service that can help. Your state-based Legal Aid office is a good place to start.


Legal Aid Queensland

Phone: 1300 65 11 88

Call, drop in to one of their 6 locations in South East Queensland, or visit online to confirm your eligibility and get the help you require. Legal Aid are State government funded lawyers who give legal help to financially disadvantaged people, and can help if you:

  • Are experiencing domestic and family violence or might be separating
  • Have been charged with an offence
  • Need help in court by a duty lawyer or by a lawyer who is running your case
  • Have consumer and debt questions (consumer rip-offs, debt, loan payments, house repossession)
  • Are making an anti-discrimination claim (race, age, gender, sexuality etc)

Commonwealth Ombudsman

Phone: 1300 362 072

The Commonwealth Ombudsman investigate complaints from people who believe they have been treated unfairly or unreasonably by an Australian Government agency (e.g. Australian Tax Office, Centrelink) to determine whether these agencies have acted in a way that is unlawful, unreasonable, improperly discriminatory or otherwise wrong.

Refugee and Immigration Legal Service (RAILS)

Phone: 07 3846 9300

RAILS provide free legal advice, assistance and community education. Family law advice is provided every 2nd Friday from 9am-3:30p.m – call to make an appointment.

Women’s Legal Service

Phone: 1800 957 957

The Women's Legal Service offers free legal advice for women experiencing violence or disadvantage. They provide assistance in Family Law and Domestic Violence matters including: separation, divorce, property matters, family dispute resolution. Social workers also provide emotional and practical support to women as they work through legal issues such as domestic violence, separation and divorce.

Seniors Legal and Support Service (SLASS)

Phone: 07 3214 6333

Free legal and social work support for older persons experiencing elder abuse, mistreatment, neglect or financial exploitation.

Meet face to face, by phone or online for advice on seniors legal issues including financial matters (eg: selling the family home), aged care and community care arrangements, through to consumer contracts (dodgy deals).

Community Legal Centres Queensland

Phone: 07 3392 0092

There are 33 Community Legal Centres throughout Queensland, which provide an initial consultation on most matters of law to any member of the community free of charge. Available services include:

  • Domestic Violence
  • Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Intersex Legal Service
  • Tenants Queensland

Basic Rights Queensland (BRQ)

Phone: 1800 358 511

A specialist community legal centre, providing free advice, advocacy and legal services state-wide by telephone. They also have fact sheets online. They assist vulnerable people in matters relating to social security (Centrelink) and disability discrimination. For advice on women’s employment issues, call 1800 621 458 on Monday, Tuesday or Friday from 9am to 4pm.

ATSILS - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service

Phone: 1800 012 255

ATSILS provides legal assistance services in criminal, civil and family law matters, including 24 hour hour legal representation and advice on criminal matters, along with a highly diverse range of services with many regional variations. Services can vary from 'simple' legal advice through to minor assistances (such as filling in forms or drafting letters) to casework assistance (such as helping draft wills or legal representation at contested hearings).

Legal Aid Queensland Indigenous Information Line

Phone: 1300 650 143

Access Legal Aid’s information and advice services for free, without needing to meet the financial eligibility test. If you need a lawyer to represent you, you will need to apply for Legal Aid.

QSTARS (Queensland Statewide Tenant Advice and Referral Service)

Phone: 1300 744 263 delivered by TQ (Tenants Queensland)

Specialist advice for tenants who live in any type of rental accommodation, including share-houses, caravan parks (including manufactured homes) and boarding houses. They aim to improve conditions for residential tenants by helping you understand and exercise your legal rights.

QSTARS can assist you with:

  • Advice and assistance to understand your tenancy rights and responsibilities
  • Support to resolve your tenancy issue
  • Advocacy support to talk to your lessor or agent
  • Help to write a letter or fill in tenancy forms
  • Help to attend or prepare for a QCAT tenancy tribunal hearing
  • Referral to other services if needed

Call Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, with extended hours to 7pm on Tuesday & Wednesday.

Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA)

Phone: 1300 366 311

The state government statutory authority that provides tenancy information and support, dispute resolution, and bond management for anyone renting a house, unit, share house, room, caravan or houseboat. Advice and information is available for every stage of tenancy, from choosing a property to contracts, bond and rental, ending a tenancy and bond return. Call Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5pm, or access online services via the website.