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Shameful and traumatic family law inquiry comes to a welcome end

Media Release
Larissa Waters 23 Nov 2021

The Greens say today’s tabling of the Final Report of Pauline Hanson’s toxic family law inquiry marks the welcome end of more than two years of political grandstanding that has traumatised survivors of family and domestic violence and provided a platform for hate and misinformation.

Greens deputy leader and spokesperson on democracy Senator Larissa Waters said:

“What a colossal waste of time and energy.

“This inquiry was a cynical and politically motivated stunt that emboldened domestic violence offenders and re-traumatised victim-survivors and their children.

“The Greens opposed this inquiry from the outset, not because there are no problems within the family law system, but because those problems have been the subject of many previous inquiries. We needed action on recommendations but, true to form, the government gave us another inquiry. 

“This inquiry told us what we already know: that gendered violence is a core problem at the heart of the family law system; that more money is needed to fix delays and gaps in the system that continue to put women and children at risk; and that funding, specialisation, and wrap-around service models are the solution.

“We have now spent more than two years re-litigating those issues and delaying implementation of previous recommendations, while giving oxygen to some of the most extreme and toxic views of the men’s rights movement.

“Thankfully, having heard all the evidence, the committee’s primary recommendations are not those championed by extremists. Because of the weight of evidence presented by survivors, experts, practitioners and frontline workers, the report instead acknowledges the need for a better understanding of gendered violence to be embedded throughout the family law system.

“The Greens opposed the merger of the Family and Federal Circuit Courts and will continue to fight for:

  • Maintaining specialist family law expertise by increasing funding and training for experienced family court judges, registrars, report writers and liaison officers 
  • Adequate and secure funding for Legal Aid, community legal centres, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, Family Violence Prevention Legal Services, and their peak bodies
  • $12 billion to properly fund the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women, and the development of a standalone, National Plan for First Nations Women and Children.”
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