National Regional, Rural, Remote and Very Remote (4Rs) Network

About the network

The 4Rs Network is a network of non-profit legal services in 4Rs areas which provide legal and related assistance via an incorporated non-profit structure or auspicing arrangement.

The 4Rs Network’s services are based in and/or service localities within four of the five classes of remoteness including:

  • Inner regional Australia
  • Outer regional Australia
  • Remote Australia
  • Very remote Australia

The 4Rs Network members work with and for their communities and regions. Their methods and programs often reflect deep understanding and long-term efforts to address important community needs. Their programs, services and advocacy often reflect involvement in community issues that have not been addressed by other means, including by local, state, or federal governments.

The 4Rs Network has been facilitated from within, and supported by Community Legal Centres Australia and builds on a significant history of community legal centre-based networking from the mid 1990s seeking to address the specific and nuanced legal needs and rights of regional, rural, remote and very remote communities and thereby increase the wellbeing those living within them.

The 4Rs Network is convened by Cheryll Rosales, Haley McEwen and Judy Harrison and meets by Zoom on the first Wednesday of each month; supporters are encouraged to join, connect and assist. You can contact the convenors via


Northern Australia Workforce Development

May 2024

A 4Rs submission is being prepared to the Inquiry into the Development of Northern Australia by the Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia.

Getting the NDIS Back on Track Bill

May 2024

The 4Rs submission to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Getting the NDIS Back on Track No. 1) Bill 2024 inquiry by the Community Affairs Legislation Committee endorsed concerns about the Bill raised by the Disability Advocacy Network Australia and concerns raised by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre’s Explainer.

Human rights and compulsory income management

May 2024

The 4Rs submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights inquiry into compulsory income management supported the Economic Justice Australia and Accountable Income Management Network submissions and called for social security legislation to visibly refer to the human rights of First Nations people and people in 4Rs areas.

NDIS standing committee submission

March 2024

The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme is tasked with inquiring into the implementation of the NDIS. In October 2023 the Committee began an inquiry into NDIS participant experience in rural, regional and remote Australia. This 4Rs Network submission to the inquiry notes that people with disability are highly represented among clients of 4Rs community based legal services, but levels of access to these services is inadequate. The submission called for a range of measures to better respond to the unmet support, advocacy and legal needs of people with disability

Consensus on addressing unmet legal needs in regional, rural, remote and very remote areas

February 2024

CLCs Australia profiled the 4Rs Network in this piece about consensus relating to unmet legal needs in many submissions to the NLAP Review.

Pre-budget submission 2024–25

January 2024

Recent media coverage has focused on the critical lack of access to lawyers in Alice Springs for Aboriginal people in criminal proceedings because of unfilled positions. But legal workforce problems are not limited to Alice Springs. The issues are much larger, as reflected in the number of unfilled positions in many high needs areas in 4Rs Australia. Lack of a national 4Rs legal workforce plan must be addressed. Staff shortages are occurring against a backdrop of major underfunding of non-profit legal services in 4Rs Australia. The Network has proposed doubling the level of funding to Aboriginal Community-Controlled and other community-based non-profit legal services in 4Rs areas, reflecting the dramatic shortfalls.

Submission to the NLAP review

October 2023

In its submission to the review of NLAP (the principal funding instrument for the community legal sector), the 4Rs Network calls for an  Access to Justice Strategy and Action Plan, increased finding and capacity across multiple portfolios to respond to the needs of 4R areas, the elimination of bias against 4R areas in the current NLAP and the establishment of standards for access to legal assistance.

Robodebt Royal Commission submission

February 2023

Despite the scale and impacts of Robodebt and the level of inquiry and analysis, the full legal, social and political geography of Robodebt is yet to be reflected and analysed in 4Rs areas. The Robodebt fiasco demonstrates intense siloing of social security portfolio interests at the ministerial and departmental levels, and highlights the profound lack of social security legal help for people in 4R areas.

Pre-budget submission 2023–24

January 2023

The 4Rs pre-budget submission called for a National 4Rs Access to Justice Strategy and Action Plan, increased funding for community based 4Rs legal services reflecting costs and unmet needs, and a range of other measures. 

Remote and rural legal services highlight inequality and bias in federal ‘access to justice’

Media release, 19 May 2022