Community pressure appears to have won the day to retain a vital women's legal service in Katherine.
Candidates for the upcoming Federal Election rushed to rescue the Katherine Women’s Information and Legal Service today after an outpouring of public anger.
CLP candidates today both promised funding for the service to continue.
Katherine Times yesterday reported KWILS was set to lose nearly 80 per cent of its total funding come July 1.
Social media networks went into virtual meltdown overnight with many comments and post shares of our story.
In jeopardy of closing its doors, hundreds of women experiencing domestic violence would have been left in the lurch without the support of the long-standing service.
The organisation, which has grown from just one solicitor to six full time employees to meet the rising demand for specialist women’s legal service, was paid a visit by Alice Springs councillor Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and new Senate candidate and Katherine vet Sam McMahon.
I’m glad that Jacinta visited. I’m happy that it looks like the funding crisis is resolved. I look forward to written confirmation.KWILS principal legal officer, Matt Fawkner
She said she was made aware of the funding debacle last night after reading an article on the Katherine Times.
"I read the article last night and thought it was important we visit and try to sort out the situation," Ms Price said.
"Their clients are dependent on the support and we can see there is a great need for the service in the region.
"I am a survivor of domestic violence and I didn't have that level of support and there are so many women who really need it.
"Given the huge problem we have in this country with domestic violence it is so important this service was funded to continue its work in the community."
Ms Price said the funding was secured in a matter of hours after speaking with the KWILS staff.
"I got on the phone to (Country Liberal Party Senator for the NT) Nigel Scullion to push for funding.
"It is an area I am very passionate about."
The new funding is expected to ensure all six employees are safe in their positions, Ms Price said.
"I don't muck around, especially with something so important," she said.
KWILS incoming executive officer, Brooke Brenner said she was relieved the organisation will continue to provide vital women’s legal services in the Katherine region going forward.
"The funding commitment from the Commonwealth Government is very much appreciated at this critical time," she said.
The federal funding is expected to be awarded just in time for the organisation to continue work seamlessly.
"As CLP candidate for Lingiari Jacinta Price has confirmed KWILS will be funded beyond June 30," a government spokesman said.
"The funding application is in the process of being finalised and KWILS will be formally notified about their funding. A formal announcement will be made shortly," he said.
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