Plain Language Law newsletter No. 103
February 2020
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Have you or your clients been affected by the bushfires?

The Disaster Response Legal Service can help with:
  • Insurance claims and disputes
  • Financial hardship
  • Centrelink
  • Tenancy problems
  • Rights at work
  • Replacing important documents
  • Domestic violence advice
  • Other everyday legal problems
New resources now available:
Download postcard | Download poster | Order copies 

Important information for bushfire affected tenants

The Tenants' Union of NSW website provides information for tenants affected by the bushfires and a list of other useful resources here
A factsheet for tenants is available that explains what happens when a rented premises is subject to damage asa result of a disaster. Download Tenants Rights Factsheet 22: Disaster damage

Community legal centres operating on the ground in affected communities

Community legal centres across NSW are working to coordinate legal help for people in the areas worst affected by the bushfires, from Eden and Moruya to the south, Bathurst and Lithgow to the west and Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour to the north. For information about the legal assistance available, visit CLCNSW

Free legal advice for renters

There is a network of Tenants Advice Services around NSW who provide free legal advice to renters. 
Enter a postcode here on the Get advice tab and the details of the local service will be provided. 

Community legal education

Let's Get Started (Australia), 2020 [Webinar], Justice Connect, $30-$125 + booking fee
This webinar is designed for anyone involved in starting a community organisation. Gain handy tips from Justice Connect’s friendly lawyers and get loads of important legal information to give your group a solid foundation to build on. This webinar will take place on Tuesday 11 February at 12.45-2pm. Register
Breaching Court Orders – AVOs and Family (NSW), 2020 [webinar], Women’s Legal Service NSW, free
This webinar looks at what to do when AVOs and Family Court Orders are breached. It will be presented by Gabrielle Craig, a solicitor at Women's Legal Service NSW.
This webinar will take place on Thursday 20 February at 11am. Register
Data Governance (Australia), 2020 [Webinar], Justice Connect, $30-$125 + booking fee
Strong data governance presents real opportunities for community organisations. Responsible collection, storage, management and use of data can enable organisations to innovate, improve processes and gain a competitive edge. It is also an internal ‘insurance policy’ to protect an organisation and its key stakeholders. In this 75 minute webinar, Justice Connect will be joined by a key member of Clyde & Co’s leading cyber and data privacy team to discuss all things data governance, in particular how your organisation can make sure it has strong data governance practices in place. This webinar will take place on Tuesday 25 February at 12.45-2pm. Register
Get #social not #sued – Social Media and the Law (Australia), 2020 [Webinar], Justice Connect, $30-$125 + booking fee
Social media can help not-for-profit organisations expand their reach and grow awareness for their cause, but it also has the potential to cause damage to the organisation, its clients, employees or volunteers Sign up for this webinar and we’ll step you through the key legal risks when not-for-profit organisations publish content on social media, including: privacy, confidentiality, intellectual property and defamation. This webinar will take place on Tuesday 10 March at 12.45-2pm. Register
Screening Checks (Australia), 2020 [Webinar], Justice Connect, $30-$125 + booking fee
Are you involved in recruitment and management of staff and volunteers in your community organisation? Do you want to make sure you are implementing an effective and legally compliant screening program? Do you want to be up to date with the laws and processes around Working with Children Checks and Police Checks? If so, this webinar is for you! This webinar will take place on Tuesday 24 March at 12.45-2pm. Register

New edition out now

The Law Handbook: your practical guide to the law in NSW (NSW), 2019 [Book], Redfern Legal Centre Publishing
This plain English guide to the law in NSW provides up-to-date information on 40 legal topics. The 15th edition is available online on the Find Legal Answers website.
The Law Handbook will be available in hard copy soon in the Find Legal Answers tool kit in NSW public libraries. 

Order bookmarks
Bookmarks promoting the new edition can be ordered here
Guides to the law

Are you being squeezed for debt? (NSW) 2020 [Pamphlet], Legal Aid NSW
This brochure explains some of the legal steps to take if you are in dispute about amounts under $100,000 in the Local Court including external dispute resolution schemes, what to do if you receive a letter of demand and the court process. For the nearest Legal Aid NSW office, visit
or call LawAccess NSW 1300 888 529

Who else can help?
  • Financial Rights Legal Centre Advice Line 1800 844 949
  • Insurance Law Service 1300 663 464
  • National Debt Helpline 1800 007 007
Are you having problems with your home mortgage? (NSW), 2020 [Pamphlet], Legal Aid NSW, free
This brochure has helpful information for people having problems with their mortgage about where to get help.
Download PDF Arabic | Chinese (sim) | Dari/Farsi | English | Vietnamese 
Order copies

Are you having trouble paying your home loan because you have lost your job? (NSW), 2020 [Flyer], Legal Aid NSW, free
This online factsheet explains where to get help if you have trouble paying your mortgage after you have lost your job. 
Read online | Download PDF | Order copies

Trouble making your home loan payments because you have separated from your partner? (NSW), 2020 [Flyer], Legal Aid NSW, free
This online resource explains how you can negotiate with your lender about changing or reducing your payments for a period of time and where to find financial counselling and legal advice.
Read onlineDownload PDF | Order copies

Bushfire insurance resources

The Financial Rights Legal Centre has a Bushfire insurance guide and publishes helpful factsheets about bushfire, flood and storm insurance. It also operates the National Insurance Law Hotline 1300 663 464.
Visit Financial Rights Legal Centre
Dealing with natural disasters (Australia), 2020 [Webpage], ASIC
ASIC's Moneysmart website, which aims to improve the financial capability of all Australians, provides plain English information on getting help to navigate financial decisions to get back on track after a natural disaster.

Disaster factsheet 2: What should I expect from my insurance company? (NSW), 2020 [Factsheet], Legal Aid NSW, free
Information about dealing with your insurance company after a natural disaster. The Disaster Response Legal Service NSW can help you if you are affected by storms, floods, or bushfires in New South Wales. 
Download PDF | Order copies


Disaster factsheet 4: I don't agree with the insurer's decision (NSW), 2020 [Factsheet], Legal Aid NSW, free
If you don't agree with your insurer's decision after a natural disaster, there are steps you can take. The Disaster Response Legal Service NSW can help you if you are affected by storms, floods, or bushfires in New South Wales.
Download PDF | Order copies
Getting legal help after a bushfire (NSW), 2020 [Podcast], Legal Aid NSW
The latest episode in the Legal Aid NSW podcast series, Law for Community Workers on the go, features an interview with Legal Aid NSW disaster recovery specialist, Ma’ata Solofoni. Learn how to connect clients who have been affected by bushfires with free legal help. 

Don't miss out on these recent podcast episodes: 
– The Prisoners Legal Service
– Robodebt - the full story

Getting help after a disaster (NSW), 2020 [Brochure], Legal Aid NSW, free
This brochure explains how the Disaster Response Legal Service NSW can help you if you are affected by storms, floods, or bushfires in New South Wales.
Read online | Download PDF | Order copies
Women and Family Law (NSW), 2019, [Booklet], Women's Legal Service NSW 
Look out for the new 11th edition of this booklet available online and as a PDF to download – and you can just pick the chapter you need. Updated by the solicitors at Women's Legal Service NSW, the booklet provides a plain-English guide to family law in NSW, covering a range of topics such as divorce, children, child support, property settlements and AVOs. 

Women and Family Law will be available in hard copy soon in the Find Legal Answers tool kit in NSW public libraries.
Your insurance check-up: bushfires (NSW), 2020 [Brochure], Legal Aid NSW
Each year some insurance claims are denied, or people get less than they expected. Be prepared this bushfire season with this insurance check up factsheet. The Disaster Response Legal Service NSW can help you if you are affected by bushfires in New South Wales. See also Your insurance check-up: storm or flood

Your workplace rights during natural disasters (NSW), 2020, [Brochure], Legal Aid NSW
This is a fact sheet for all private sector employees in NSW to assist with what your options under the Fair Work Act are if you are injured, or if your home or workplace are affected by a natural disaster.
Order copies | Read online | Download PDF
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About this newsletter

This newsletter is produced by Catherine Carpenter from the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW with assistance from the Legal Information Access Centre (LIAC) at the State Library of NSW. 
Want more plain language legal information?
Visit Find Legal Answers 
Visit LawAccess NSW or call 1300 888 529
© Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, 2020.
Plain Language Law is a bimonthly newsletter. Please feel free to pass this email on to others who may wish to subscribe.

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Law and Justice Foundation of NSW 
Level 13, 222 Pitt Street Sydney NSW 2000 | PO Box A109, Sydney South NSW 1235
T +61 2 8227 3200

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