Clients very satisfied with the service defunded by Attorney General Brandis

Tasmanian Aboriginal Legal Service
Client Satisfaction Survey to end June 2015

One hundred client satisfaction survey forms were obtained from clients of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Legal Aid Scheme. These surveys were designed to capture a snapshot of our performance for the year from all parts of the State and including both genders. Prisoners were included in the survey.

The demographic characteristics of the clients surveyed and the nature of the matters for which they obtained legal representation are shown in the following table:

Table 1: Client and Matter Characteristics

Matter South North North West Grand Total
M F Total M F Total M F Total  
Criminal 11 5 16 9 5 14 17 9 26 56
Civil 0 0 0 12 9 21 1 4 5 26
Family 1 1 2 0 4 4 1 11 12 18
Total 12 6 18 21 18 39 19 24 43 100

All matter types and all regions were included, and although the survey does not purport to be representative of our clients, it does however give a snapshot of the diversity of clients and cases the legal service represents.


Written survey forms were distributed. The questions asked in the survey were:

  • Nature of matter
  • Was it easy for you to get your matter dealt with by our Service?
  • Were you satisfied with the time it took to get your matter dealt with?
  • How were you treated by our staff?
  • Were things explained to you in a way that you understood?
  • Were you satisfied with the way your problem was dealt with?
  • Any other comments?



Ease of access:

All but one participants (99%) said it was easy for them to get their matter dealt with by the Service. The participant said “they were not completely satisfied with the ease of access”.

A Southern clients gave more detail:

  • Very easy, a phone call and I was kept informed and supported really well

Other comments through the 100 surveys were mostly noted as ‘very easy’.

Time taken:

Ninety five percent (95%) of respondents were satisfied with the time taken to have their matter dealt with.

Four Launceston clients were less than fully satisfied with the time it took to have their matter dealt with. They said:

  • Solicitor wouldn’t listen and deal with how they liked
  • Could have been a bit quicker
  • Had to wait too long
  • Was satisfied, by not happy with the length of time through the court process

All but one North West client was satisfied, with one person saying, “civil is taking quite some time”.


All Hobart and Burnie participants were satisfied with the treatment they received from our staff.

One Launceston client was less than happy with her treatment, “I was treated very rudely/abruptly by a former field officer”.

A Hobart client said “great, very confident in what they do, they really made me feel I was important’.


All clients felt that they understood the information and things were explained to them.

One Launceston client said “very clear and I wasn’t frightened to ask questions”.

A client in Hobart said “yes, in my case and any questions I had it was just a matter of calling and the legal terms were broken down so that I understood what was happening”.


Satisfaction level:

All participants but one (99%), were satisfied with the way their problem was dealt with.

The Burnie clients said “they were in the end, but not from the start”.

Another Burnie client said “very easy for me to understand, helped having things explained the way I understand”

A Hobart clients said ‘I couldn’t off asked for a better outcome, they really look out for the individual’s best interest’.

The surveys participants used words like, always, 100% satisfied, very satisfied and excellent.


Additional comments

Some of the comments given include:

By Hobart respondents:

  • We need our legal service for our self-determination (male, criminal)
  • It’s a shame we lose such a great service, I think it’s going to have a major disadvantage for community (Female, criminal case)
  • Aboriginal community will be lost without the legal service (male, criminal)

By Launceston respondents:

  • Beeton & Mansell have always been there for me (female, family)
  • Prefer to see people face to face (female, civil)
  • Should still have funding for this program-VALS are not going to help us – the community (male – civil)
  • I think its total crap that we have to use the Victorian legal service!! (female, criminal)
  • I am not going to VALS, bring back our ALS (female, family)

By Burnie respondents:

  • The legal service has always been prompt in regards to legal appointments and getting representation. Big thank you to the staff member for his work in regards to my matters (female, criminal)
  • I am very grateful for the help I have received, thank you (female, family)
  • Without the help I received I wouldn’t be out and I thank you all for your time (male, criminal)

There were numerous statements, too many to report, voicing the concern and dissatisfaction that the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre would no longer be providing legal assistance to the community.


Heather Sculthorpe
Chief Executive Officer
14 August 2015