FIRST 100 DAYS FAMILY LAW CAMPAIGN
96 TO GO AND COUNTING
A Prime Minister for All Australians?
· Kevin Rudd has described himself as a Prime Minister for all Australians. He presents himself as a man of principle.
· For example, he has indicated he will not bow to special interest groups in appointing his Cabinet but rather appoint and promote on merit.
· With respect to Family Law, FLAG is giving Mr Rudd 100 days from his election on 24 November 2007 to show his true colours.
· Currently the law and its application by various Federal and State agencies:
o allows children to be removed from good parents for no reason;
o forces children into the care of emotionally, physically or sexually abusive parents; and
o financially and emotionally ruins non-custodial parents.
· Every day at least three parents take their own lives as the direct result of bad law and its application.
· The children who suffer from this state supported emotional, physical and sexual violence are significantly more likely to:
o Run away from home;
o Become involved with drugs;
o Be admitted to psychiatric institutions; and
o Become involved in the most violent crimes, including assault, rape, arson and murder.
· Fixing Family Law will have flow on benefits by significantly reducing the drain on limited health and police budgets.
The Issue is Not Evidence
· FLAG and other families' and children's rights groups have tried for years to present the facts to Federal and State Governments with little or no success.
· Both sides of politics express surprise and doubt at research that does not support their ideological position - neither side will examine the issue objectively.
· Research and findings used by various Federal and State Governments range from lazy and disingenuous through to downright dishonest and corrupt.
· A recent example of the latter was a researcher conducting a study into suicide being told to exclude family law related suicides or risk having the research funding cut.
· One must ask the question - 'In whose interest is it for the current situation to be allowed to continue?'
Gaps in Family Law
· FLAG maintains that three major gaps in Family Law and its application are the cause of most of the problems destroying Australian families and Australia:
o Wildly inconsistent judgements with regard to the equal shared parenting and responsibility;
o False allegations by one or both parties to improve the respective positions in the eyes of the court;
o The lack of a legal duty of care of the State with regard to children removed from their parents.
· International experience has shown that three simple changes will have an immediate and beneficial effect on the current appalling situation in Australia. These are amendments to Family Law to ensure:
o The rebuttable presumption of equal shared parenting,
o Zero tolerance of false allegations, and
o A legal duty of care by the State with respect to children removed from parents.
· To be effective, the amendments listed above must be supported by:
o The abolition of family case law, and
o The legislation be under the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.
Bad Law Makers
· Does FLAG have a positive expectation of the new Government?
· Not at all because Mr Rudd has some bad law makers in his team.
· Nicola Roxon is one of many in the new Government who believe that a parent who intentionally perjures themselves in the Family Court should not be held to account.
· Once again the question must be asked - 'In whose interest is it for the current situation to be allowed to continue?'