Note: the original hard copy of this report is 16 pages .

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NSW Legal Needs Survey in disadvantaged areas: Nambucca, Justice issues paper 6   

, 2008 Justice made to measure: NSW legal needs survey in disadvantaged areas (2006) is the report of a large-scale quantitative study of the legal needs of disadvantaged people in six local government areas of New South Wales. More than 2400 residents across the regions were interviewed about their legal needs. This report was preceded by an initial study Quantitative legal needs survey: Bega Valley (pilot) (2003). There now follows a series of papers in the Justice Issues imprint. Six individual papers will describe how disadvantaged people deal with legal problems, detailing the responses from one of the regions surveyed: Campbelltown, Fairfield, Nambucca, Newcastle, South Sydney and Walgett.......


Appendix 1: Details of sample selection


To identify LGAs with relatively high rates of socioeconomic disadvantage, we used the risk score for cumulative socioeconomic disadvantage provided by Vinson (1999). This score is based on a range of socioeconomic indicators including proportions of unemployed persons, low income households, confirmed incidences of child abuse, people who left school before 15 years of age, households receiving emergency assistance, convicted persons, child injuries, long–term unemployment an unskilled workers.36 Among the three Sydney LGAs used in the survey, South Sydney and Campbelltown were chosen because they were the only two of the 45 LGAs in the Sydney area that featured postcodes among the 50 most disadvantaged postcodes for the New South Wales area. Fairfield LGA was also chosen as it too had a relatively high cumulative disadvantage risk score, but also, because it has a highly culturally and linguistically diverse population. According to the census, a language other than English is spoken in 70.9 per cent of households, with Vietnamese (15.5%), Chinese languages (10.2%) and Spanish (4.9%) being the most common non–English languages. Accordingly, the survey instrument was translated into Vietnamese, Cantonese and Spanish and interviewers speaking these languages were made available for people who preferred to be interviewed in one of these languages (ABS 2001).

The three non–Sydney LGAs (Newcastle, Nambucca and Walgett) selected all featured at least three postcodes among the 50 most disadvantaged postcodes in New South Wales according to the cumulative disadvantage risk score. Further, Walgett and Nambucca LGAs also had relatively high Indigenous populations (21.5% and 5.4% respectively) compared with the New South Wales average (1.9%) and at such population levels, Indigenous people generally have poor outcomes on measures of social justice (ABS 1995; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commission 2002). For further details about the methodology and the survey see Coumarelos et al. (2006).

Table A1: Classification of legal events in survey of legal need, 2003
Area of law
(no. of items)
Survey question no.Legal event group (no. of items)
Legal event
CIVIL (76)Accident/injury (4)
19Car accident – property damage
39ACar accident – personal injury
39BInjury at work
39COther personal injury
Business (2)
7Problem as landlord
9Problem re own business
Consumer (5)
20FProblem re superannuation
21Problem re goods/services
22Dispute with financial institution
23Problem re insurance
56Complaint about lawyer
Credit/debt (5)
20AProblem paying bill/debt
20BDispute re credit rating
20CProblem re money owed to you
20DProblem as guarantor
20EBankruptcy
Education (6)
35AUnfair exclusion from education
35BHECS issue
35CSchool bullying/harassment
37AUnfair exclusion from education – parent
37BHECS issue – parent
37CSchool bullying/harassment – parent
Employment (5)
2ADispute re employment conditions
2BUnfair termination of employment
2CWorkplace harassment/mistreatment
2DWorkplace discrimination
2E*Other problem re employment
Government (15)
5Problem re gov. pension/benefit
31CProblem re gov. services – carer of disabled/elderly
43AProblem re gov. disability/community services
44ADispute re taxation/debt
43E*Other problem re gov. services as disabled person
44BProblem re freedom of information request
44CImmigration problem
44DLocal council problem
51Non – traffic fines you challenged
53AProblem re medical treatment – immigration detention
53BProblem re legal advice – immigration detention
53CSafety threats – immigration detention
53DHarassment/abuse by staff – immigration detention
53EProblem re release – immigration detention
57B*Problem re legal system
Health (11)
31BInvoluntary psychiatric hospitalisation – carer
31F*Problem re quality of medical treatment – carer
31G*Problem re disability facilities – carer
42A/52Involuntary psychiatric hospitalisation
42BOther mental health care issue
43BProblem re non–government disability services
53AProblem re medical treatment – psychiatric ward
53BProblem re legal advice – psychiatric ward
53CSafety threats – psychiatric ward
53DHarassment/abuse by staff – psychiatric ward
53EProblem re release – psychiatric ward
Housing (11)
10ABought/sold home
10BDispute with neighbour
10CHomelessness
12Tenancy problem
14Home ownership problem
16AStrata title problem
16BProblem re caravan/home estate
16CProblem re boarding house/hostel
16DProblem re retirement home/village
31ANursing home problem – carer of disabled/elderly
43CNursing home problem as disabled person
Human rightsa (8)
24ADiscrimination – marital status
24BDiscrimination – age
24CDiscrimination – gender
24DDiscrimination – religion
24EDiscrimination – sexuality
24FDiscrimination – ethnicity
24GDiscrimination – disability
31H*Discrimination – carer of disabled/elderly
Wills/estates (4)
32AMake/alter will
32BExecutor of estate
32CDispute over will/estate
32DPower of attorney
CRIMINAL (16)Domestic violence (3)
47AVictim of domestic violence by family member
47BVictim of domestic violence by household member
48Domestic violence allegation against you
General crime (11)
46AUnfair treatment by police
46BCriminal charge
46CProblem re bail/remand
46DPolice failing to investigate crime
47CAssault victim
49Property stolen/vandalised
53AProblem re medical treatment – prison/juvenile detention
53BProblem re legal advice – prison/juvenile detention
53CSafety threats – prison/juvenile detention
53DHarassment/abuse by staff – prison/juvenile detention
53EProblem re release – prison/juvenile detention
Traffic offences (2)
50ALoss of driver’s licence
50BOther traffic fine/offence you challenged
FAMILY (9)Family (9)
25AProblem re residence/contact for child
25BProblem re residence/contact for grandchild
27AProblem re child support payments
27BChild protection issue
27CFostering/adoption/guardianship issue
29ADivorce/separation
29BDispute re matrimonial property
31DGuardianship problem – carer of disabled/elderly
57A*Other family law problem
Unclassified (3)Unclassified (3)
31EOther problem – carer of disabled/elderly
43DOther problem re disability
57Other problem
a Human rights events are not related to employment.
* Legal events marked by an asterisk were not specifically asked about in the survey, but were identified by post-coding.
While the question number listed for each of these events in the table does not appear on the survey, it indicates the survey question from which the event was post-coded. For example, the legal event numbered ‘43E’ was post-coded from question 43.


36  Partial use was also made of mortality rates in the risk scores for New South Wales postcodes.