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Research Report: Data digest
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Data digest  ( 2004 )  Cite this report

Ch 2. Demographic characteristics of service users

Region of residence



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Legal matter, NSW Community Legal Centres


Table 63:  Percentage of inquiries by broad area of law and region of residence
NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
Statistical Division
Family
Crime
Civil
Total
%
%
%
%
SydneyInner Sydney
13.4
15.8
70.9
100
Eastern Suburbs
16.5
11.9
71.6
100
St George-Sutherland
24.1
7.7
68.2
100
Canterbury-Bankstown
24.9
9.1
66
100
Fairfield-Liverpool
34.5
9.4
56.1
100
Outer South Western Sydney
41.3
13.6
45.1
100
Inner Western Sydney
14.9
7.1
78
100
Central Western Sydney
27
10.8
62.2
100
Outer Western Sydney
39.9
18.8
41.3
100
Blacktown
37.2
10.9
51.9
100
Lower Northern Sydney
19.5
7.3
73.2
100
Central Northern Sydney
27.7
7.3
65
100
Northern Beaches
14.9
5.5
79.5
100
Gosford-Wyong
36.2
10.4
53.4
100
Hunter
30
22
48.1
100
Illawarra
39.9
11.4
48.7
100
Richmond-Tweed
24.2
9.8
66
100
Mid-North Coast
29.5
14.7
55.8
100
Northern
36.9
12.3
50.8
100
North Western
42.9
17.1
40
100
Central West
38.5
25
36.6
100
South Eastern
32.8
10.1
57.1
100
Murrumbidgee
47.8
11.7
40.5
100
Murraya
47.1
15.3
37.6
100
Far West
31.4
21.6
47
100
NSW average
29.2
12.9
57.8
100
a  Murray is also covered by the Murray Mallee Community Legal Service based in Victoria.
Notes:  Shaded areas indicate higher than the NSW average for the given broad area of law.
N = 321362. Postcode was not recorded in 0.1 per cent of inquiries. 3 per cent of inquiries were from interstate and 2 per cent were classified as Business (see Appendix 3 for further information). These have been excluded from the analysis.
Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

Comment

As is shown in Table 63, the majority of inquiries made to NSW Community Legal Centres concerned Civil Law (58%), followed by Family Law (29%) and Criminal Law (13%). There were, however, differences between regions in the broad area of law about which inquiries were more likely to be made. Based on the chi-square examining region of residence of inquirers by broad area of law:
  • In 10 of the 11 non-Sydney regions, the percentage of inquiries concerning Family Law was significantly higher than the corresponding average percentage for NSW (29%). This compares with only 5 of the 14 Sydney regions. The Sydney areas with higher than average percentages of Family Law inquiries were all located in Sydney’s outer western regions—Outer South Western Sydney, Outer Western Sydney, Blacktown, Fairfield-Liverpool and Gosford-Wyong.
  • For Civil Law, the opposite pattern was observed. Nine of the 14 Sydney regions had higher than average percentages of Civil Law inquiries compared with 1 of the 11 non-Sydney regions.
  • More non-Sydney than Sydney regions had percentages of Criminal Law inquiries that were higher than the NSW average. Six rural/regional areas had higher than average percentages of Criminal Law inquiries—Hunter, Mid-North Coast, North Western, Central West, Murray and Far West. In contrast, only 3 Sydney regions—Inner Sydney, Outer South Western Sydney and Outer Western Sydney—had significantly higher percentages of inquiries about Criminal Law than the average percentage for NSW.

Figure 49 shows, for each broad area of law, which of the 25 regions had an above average percentage of inquiries (i.e. higher than the corresponding percentage for NSW overall).

Figure 49:  Regions with an above average percentage og inquiries for each broad area of law
NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002

Based on the chi-square, Table 64 shows the specific legal matters that inquirers from each region of residence inquired about at a rate higher than the rate for the sample.

Table 64:  Specific area of law about which residents of different regions were more likely to inquire
NSW Community Legal Centres, 2000-2002
Statistical DivisionSpecific area of law
SydneyInner SydneyGeneral crime, Domestic violence, Traffic offences, Business/Media, Consumers, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights, Motor vehicles, Wills/Estates
Eastern SuburbsGeneral crime, Traffic offences, Business/Media, Consumers, Employment, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights, Motor vehicles, Personal injury, Wills/Estates
St George-SutherlandConsumers, Employment, Government/Legal system
Canterbury-BankstownEmployment, Government/Legal system, Motor vehicles
Fairfield-LiverpoolFamily, Traffic offences, Employment, Government/Legal system, Motor vehicles
Outer South Western SydneyFamily, Domestic violence, Traffic offences, Credit/Debt, Employment
Inner Western SydneyGovernment/Legal system
Central Western SydneyEmployment, Government/Legal system, Motor vehicles
Outer Western SydneyFamily, General crime, Domestic violence, Traffic offences, Credit/Debt
BlacktownFamily, Consumers, Employment, Motor vehicles, Wills/Estates
Lower Northern SydneyEmployment, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights
Central Northern SydneyEmployment
Northern BeachesEmployment, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights
Gosford-WyongFamily, Consumers, Health/Human rights, Personal injury
HunterGeneral crime, Domestic violence, Business/Media, Consumers, Health/Human rights, Wills/Estates
IllawarraFamily, Traffic offences, Consumers, Credit/Debt, Health/Human rights, Wills/Estates
Richmond-TweedGovernment/Legal system
Mid-North CoastDomestic violence, Business/Media, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights
NorthernFamily, General crime, Business/Media, Consumers, Credit/Debt, Health/Human rights, Personal injury, Wills/Estates
North WesternFamily, General crime, Domestic violence, Credit/Debt, Employment, Wills/Estates
Central WestFamily, Domestic violence
South EasternFamily, Consumers, Government/Legal system
MurrumbidgeeFamily, Health/Human rights
MurrayFamily, General crime, Traffic offences, Business/Media, Credit/Debt
Far WestFamily, General crime, Traffic offences, Business/Media, Consumers, Credit/Debt, Health/Human rights, Wills/Estates
Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

  


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Scott, S, Eyland, A , Gray, A, Zhou, A & Coumarelos, C 2004, Data digest, a compendium of services usage data from NSW legal assistance and dispute resolution services 1999-2002, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney, 2004