Address: 283 Elizabeth St, Brisbane City, QLD 4000.

A proposal by the Federal Government that the Federal Court takeover the running of the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court for all Family Law matters is simply an outrageous and dollar driven decision.

The decision (if implemented) will do nothing to alleviate the considerable delays that exist around this nation when it comes to hearing and determining Family Law matters.

Expansion of the Family Court and the provision of more resources is what is needed to enable the Court to provide quicker decisions. More specialist Judges, counsellors and staff are desperately needed.

Families, parents and children face enormous stresses because of the already chronic delays that exist in the Family Court system. Not only are those delays experienced in having a matter heard, but there are now a substantial number of matters around the country where the delays in delivering Judgments extend for more than 12 months and in some cases, 2 years.

The Federal Government has the responsibility to fix this. The responsibility is not just to make the Family Court profitable but to provide a system that allows people to move on with their lives quickly and fairly. The longer it takes for a matter to be resolved and for a final decision to be given means that individuals suffer greater emotional and financial stress, and in some cases long term depression. If the parents are suffering then the children are suffering too.

The Federal Government needs to wake up and have a good hard look at itself. Not all Courts can deliver a profit. The Family Court is not a Commercial Court where big business litigate. It is a place of last resort for individuals and children. As a Court of last resort, the Government needs to give the Court the tools to resolve disputes quickly and timely.

One can only hope that common sense prevails and the reforms (if introduced) do not get any support in the Senate.

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