Mark Dreyfus MP

Member for Isaacs
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Family Court Abolition A Terrible Day For Families

18 February 2021

The Morrison Government’s abolition of a stand-alone Family Court is a terrible decision that will affect the lives of thousands of vulnerable children and families.

MARK DREYFUS
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM
MEMBER FOR ISAACS 

FAMILY COURT ABOLITION A TERRIBLE DAY FOR VULNERABLE FAMILIES
 

The Morrison Government’s abolition of a stand-alone Family Court is a terrible decision that will affect the lives of thousands of vulnerable children and families.

The effective abolition of the Family Court went against the advice of over 150 organisation and experts in the family law field, who all opposed this radical and ill-thought-out proposal.

It is very telling that in contrast to the marathon parliamentary debate that the Whitlam Government enabled when it established the court in 1975, the Morrison Government shut down debate so it could ram its legislation through the Senate in just two days.

The Family Court is too important to be traded for short-term deals and this shameful vote will hurt some of Australia’s most desperate and vulnerable people for years to come.

The CEO of Community Legal Centres Australia, Nassim Arrage, warned, “the merger would move away from a specialist family court model, exposing survivors of family violence to unnecessary risk”. 

After seven years of neglect under the Coalition, the family law system in Australia is in crisis. Instead of finally waking up and doing something to fix the system, the Morrison Government’s proposal will make a bad situation worse. 
 
There are many factors that have contributed to the terrible state of the family law system today. They include the Liberal Government’s failures over the past seven years to appoint judges in a timely manner and increase funding for court-related and legal assistance services. 

None of the problems currently affecting the court will be dealt with by this reckless and ill-informed proposal to abolish a stand-alone Family Court of Australia.

THURSDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2021