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Greens succeed in unwinding Abbott's divorce tax

Media Release
Penny Wright 25 Jun 2015

The Senate has overturned the Abbott Government's Family Court fee increases, voting in favour of a disallowance motion by Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright.

The increased fees, which would have particularly affected family violence victims, is the first of the Abbott Government's 2015 Budget measures to be knocked back by the Senate.

Senator Wright said the fee hikes, such as a $350 increase to the cost of a divorce application, were unjustified.

"This was nothing but a revenue-raising measure and an unfair tax on court users," Senator Wright said.

"The cost increases had nothing to do with the time or resources it takes for a divorce hearing and everything to do with the government increasing general revenue.

"It just goes to show how ruthless this Government is that they would try to profit from family breakdown.

"These Family Court fee hikes would have made it harder for victims of domestic violence to seek a divorce, so I am exceptionally pleased to have been able to secure this small victory for them and others who would have struggled to find the extra fees.

"Cost is already the most common barrier to people seeking legal help, and I am glad the Senate has rejected the Government's cruel attack on the most vulnerable."

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