New laws to improve marriage celebrant services

New laws to improve the services that Australians receive from marriage celebrants through the Commonwealth Marriage Celebrants Program will be introduced into federal parliament today.

New laws to improve the services that Australians receive from marriage celebrants through the Commonwealth Marriage Celebrants Program will be introduced into federal parliament today.

"Weddings should be a day of celebration, where couples are focused on each other, their friends and family," Attorney-General Mr Dreyfus said.

"These changes will help improve the professional development available for marriage celebrants and provide a more rigorous process to assess the suitability of aspiring celebrants.

By introducing these changes, the Government is responding to issues raised during consultation with marriage celebrants, the celebrant peak body and the state and territory Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

These issues include:

  • the need for a strengthened application process with a separate application fee
  • proposals for efficient processes and value for money from the fees and charges
  • suggested improvements to ongoing professional development structure
  • the need for increased telephone support and guidance information, which will be provided through a secure online portal

"The changes will improve regulation through performance monitoring and streamlined complaints handling mechanisms, said Mr Dreyfus.

Celebrants will be required to ensure they are registered annually and complete annual professional development. A new telephone line for celebrants and improved education and technology will also be established.

"Couples can be confident that a celebrant who is registered by the Commonwealth is committed to observing professional standards."

The Marriage (Celebrant Registration Charge) Bill and the Marriage Amendment (Celebrant Administration and Fees) Bill will establish an annual registration charge of $240 for Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants. Exemptions from the registration charge will be available.