Family Court needs adequate staff and funding not another inquiry

The union representing Family Court workers says the Morrison Government’s proposal to establish a Joint Parliamentary Committee Inquiry into the family law system follows a string of reviews and inquiries commissioned by the Government, and appears unlikely to deal with the fundamental issues arising from chronic underfunding and understaffing in Australia’s Family Court system.

The announcement of this Inquiry comes as the Government has failed to respond to the recommendations of the report into family law by the Australian Law Reform Commission released in April this year.

CPSU Deputy National President Brooke Muscat-Bentley said: “A review into the family law system must be unbiased and not pander to political agendas. Our members are concerned with ensuring that the safety of children and victims of domestic and family violence remains paramount.” “If it proceeds, this Inquiry must listen to Family Court workers who understand and are committed to the complex needs of those within the Family Court system.”

“The Government is claiming it wants to address the effectiveness of the delivery of family law support services and family dispute resolution processes, all while imposing a road block in the form of the Government’s own staffing level cap which is preventing the Court from hiring more desperately needed family consultants and registrars.”

“If the Government was serious about the effectiveness of the family law system they would have addressed the chronic underfunding and understaffing across the Court. It cannot use this Inquiry as another reason to avoid dealing with these issues. “

“As a first step to the reform that is needed, we are calling on the Morrison Government to immediately scrap the staffing cap in the Family Court and deal with the Court’s funding problems.”

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