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Freeing up the courts

Freeing up the courts
Letter to the Editor
Sunday Telegraph, July 27th, page 88.

Our association is delighted that the establishment of 64 Family Relationship Centres throughout Australia is now complete and that separating couples are availing themselves of the three hours free dispute resolution, rather than the court system, to resolve their differences.

With the increased popularity of the centres, we have become aware that they now have a huge waiting list, sometimes up to two months.

We would like to see FRCs refer clients onto private counselors and mediators, who would be engaged on the same basis as solicitors working for Legal Aid, should a situation such as this arise. It is our understanding that this was to be the case when the system was originally mooted.

Statistics would indicate that the new system is working well by encouraging couples to resolve their issues without going to court. However, without a concerted effort to reduce the waiting lists, couples and their children will continue on their emotional merry-go round.

CORAL SLATTERY, honorary secretary,
Family Law Reform Association NSW Inc
Secretary Spca said
Information indicates a reduction in applications to the Federal Magistrates and Family Court of approximately 18% has been the result of the FRC's impact to date

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