The Morrison Government is waiving the annual registration fee for civil marriage celebrants to help ease the burden from COVID-19.
The decision will benefit about 9,000 Commonwealth-registered celebrants who will not have to pay the $240 fee when they renew their registration for the 2020/21 financial year.
Attorney-General Christian Porter said the decision to waive the fee followed pleas from the industry, which has seen its bookings disappear in recent months.
“Like so many Australian businesses, marriage celebrants have been hit hard by the virus, which has forced a great many couples to rethink their wedding plans,” the Attorney-General said.
“While we know this situation is only temporary, the Government understands that the last thing celebrants need right now is another bill to pay at a time when money is tight.”
“Importantly, waiving the registration fee will also ensure that celebrants don’t walk away from the industry at a time when demand for their services is set to grow again.”
The measure will cost about $2.1 million and applies for one year only.
Celebrants are charged a registration fee to help cover the cost of administering the marriage celebrant program, which ensures all celebrants are appropriately trained and adhere to the legal requirements governing marriages in Australia.
About 119,000 marriages are solemnised in Australia each year and approximately 95,000 (80 per cent) are solemnised by civil celebrants.