Government snubs Senate on Family Court - again

The government has once again thumbed its nose at the democratic will of the Senate, ignoring its demands for greater consultation on changes to the family court system.

 

 

 

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY
MEMBER FOR ISAACS
 
SENATOR LOUISE PRATT
DEPUTY CHAIR LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS LEGISLATION COMMITTEE
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR UNIVERSITIES
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EQUALITY
SENATOR FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA
 
GOVERNMENT SNUBS SENATE ON FAMILY COURT – AGAIN
 

The government has once again thumbed its nose at the democratic will of the Senate, ignoring its demands for greater consultation on changes to the family court system.
 
Earlier this week, the Senate voted to extend the deadline for submissions to the Senate inquiry into the government’s family court bills to November 23, an extra two months compared to the government’s unacceptable timeline.
 
Despite this clear message from the Senate, government members of the committee have refused to extend the committee’s report date of November 26, and will hold hearings before submissions have closed.
 
This is farcical, and an insult to those who care about the integrity of the family law system. Persisting with these plans will mean the committee only have three days to consider submissions before the final report is published.
 
These are bills which, together, total almost 500 pages. The government has so far consulted only two people - the Chief Justice of the Family Court and the Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court.
 
This move comes on top of the committee ignoring the Senate’s demand to set the reporting date of the inquiry to April 15, 2019. The government used its numbers on the committee to instead set a report date in November.
 
You have to ask - why is the government so bent on passing these bills without proper consultation? Is it because they are scared of what they might hear?
 
If the government wants to take family court reform seriously, it simply must change course and extend the report date of this inquiry. It is not too late.
 
FRIDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2018