The pilot survey
The Foundation decided to pilot the survey methodology in one region to test its effectiveness before embarking on broader research across a number of regions. The Bega Valley local government area (LGA) in South East New South Wales was selected as the pilot region after a community group approached the Foundation for assistance to undertake a legal needs study in the region. Analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data showed that the socioeconomic profile of the Bega Valley region exhibited disadvantage. Moreover, there was limited access to a range of legal services.
Following the conduct of the pilot survey, the Foundation has further refined the survey instrument in preparation for the conduct of the major legal needs survey in September 2003. The survey will be undertaken in a sample of six local government areas that exhibit disadvantage, and which adequately reflect disadvantaged communities in the state. The Local Government Areas (LGAs) areas selected are:
- three urban communities (Campbelltown, South Sydney and Fairfield)
- two rural or remote communities (Nambucca and Walgett)
- one regional centre (Newcastle).