Mark Dreyfus MP

Member for Isaacs
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Senate Must Save The Family Court

16 February 2021

The fate of thousands of vulnerable children and families will be decided by the Senate today as the Morrison Government proceeds with its radical proposal to effectively abolish the Family Court.

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

 
SENATE MUST SAVE THE FAMILY COURT 

 

The fate of thousands of vulnerable children and families will be decided by the Senate today as the Morrison Government proceeds with its radical proposal to effectively abolish the Family Court.

The Government decision to press ahead with the abolition of the Family Court flies in the face of evidence from more than 110 committed people and organisations working in the family law system who all oppose the proposal.

As the Law Council of Australia warned, “The merger bill was developed without consultation with court users, most judges or key stakeholders. By collapsing the present world-acclaimed stand-alone specialist Family Court into a generalist court, the merger will in effect abolish the Family Court as we know it and harm vulnerable children and families in need of specialist family law assistance”.
 
After seven years of neglect under the Liberals, the family law system in Australia is in crisis. 
 
There are many factors that have contributed to this current state of affairs. They include the Coalition Government’s failure over the past seven years to appoint judges in a timely manner, the Government’s failure to increase funding for court-related and legal assistance services in line with ever-increasing demand and inefficiencies in the family law system.  

None of these problems will be dealt with by the reckless and ill-informed proposal to effectively abolish the Family Court of Australia.

The existence of a stand-alone specialist Family Court is crucial to the well-being of many thousands of Australians, especially young children. 
 
It is too important an institution to be dealt with in such a disdainful manner by this arrogant government. 
 
It is now up to the Senate to reject the Morrison Government’s radical and harmful plan and stand up for vulnerable families and children by voting to retain a stand-alone specialist Family Court.

TUESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2021