Economic cost benefit analysis of community legal centres

Economics Social isolation Communities Human rights Australia

Community legal centres are providing strong return on investment, argues this report.

The study finds that, on average, community legal centres (CLCs) have a cost benefit ratio of 1:18; that is, for every dollar spent by government on funding CLCs, they return a benefit to society that is 18 times that cost. To express this in dollar terms, if the average held constant for CLCs across Australia, the $47.0 million spent on the program nationally in 2009/10 would yield around $846.0 million of benefit to Australia.

This assessment of net economic benefits provides a very strong rationale for funding CLCs, and provides a clear justification of CLCs in economic terms.

The report has been prepared by Dr Judith Stubbs BSW UNSW PhD RMIT, Mr John Storer BE (Civil) Grad. Dip. (Econ.) and Ms Colleen Lux BA MSc (Environmental Studies).

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