The Australian Government has approved the release of an exposure draft of the Family Law Amendment (Family Violence) Bill 2010 in order to facilitate further public consultation on proposed family law reforms.
The Attorney Generals office says the Bill focuses on prioritising the safety of children whose rights and interests are considered under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). This Bill would amend the Family Law Act to strengthen the role of family courts, advisers and parents in preventing harm to children while continuing to support the concept of shared parental responsibility and shared care where these are safe.
Public comment is welcome on the proposed amendments to the Family Law Act. If you would like to make a submission on the Family Violence Bill please send written comments to:
Public Consultation: Family Violence Bill
Family Law Branch
3-5 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600
Facsimile: (02) 6141 3248
Please note that the final date for making submissions is 14 January 2011. Unless submissions are marked confidential they may be published. Submissions may be the subject to a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
MESSAGE FROM THE ATTORNEY- GENERAL
The Hon Robert McClelland MP saidI am pleased to release this Exposure Draft Family Law Amendment (Family Violence) Bill 2010 (the Family Violence Bill) for public consultation.
Family violence and child abuse cannot be tolerated. The safety of children is of critical importance in the family law system and the Gillard Government takes the issue of addressing and responding to violence very seriously. The family law system must prioritise the safety of children to ensure the best interests of children are met.
The Family Violence Bill proposes amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 in the following key areas:
The Family Violence Bill sends a clear message that family violence and child abuse are unacceptable. I welcome your comments on this important legislative measure.
- prioritising the safety of children
- changing the meaning of family violence and abuse to better capture harmful behaviour
- strengthening the obligations of lawyers, family dispute resolution practitioners, family consultants and family counsellors
- ensuring courts have better access to evidence of family violence and abuse, and
- making it easier for state and territory child protection authorities to participate in family law proceedings where appropriate.