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Community legal funding backdown a welcome first step

The government's backdown on community legal centre funding should be the first step to properly funding the sector, Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"Attorney-General George Brandis has finally bowed to community pressure and reinstated the funding to CLCs that his government stripped away," Senator McKim said.

"This is a welcome step that will prevent thousands more people in need of legal assistance from being turned away."

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Greens succeed in unwinding Abbott's divorce tax

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.

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Greens to reverse Abbott Government's divorce tax

The Australian Greens will move to strike down the Abbott Government's court fee increases, which legal centres have said will delay victims of domestic violence from seeking a divorce.

Australian Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs Senator Penny Wright, who will introduce the disallowance motion next week, said increasing the cost of divorce applications from $845 to $1195 was excessive.

"It is completely inappropriate to use family breakdown as a cash cow for the government," Senator Wright said.

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Speech: Tribunals Amalgamation Bill 2014

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (12:36):  I rise to speak on the government's Tribunals Amalgamation Bill 2014, which provides the legislative framework for very significant reforms to Australia's merits review system. If enacted, this bill will amalgamate four separate specialist Commonwealth tribunal systems into one mega-administrative appeals tribunal.

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