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Greens move to dissolve toxic family law court inquiry

Media Release
Larissa Waters 14 Oct 2019

The Greens will introduce a motion in the Senate today to dissolve the damaging Joint Select Committee Inquiry into Australia’s Family Law System, for vote tomorrow.

Greens Co-Deputy Leader and spokesperson on Women, Senator Larissa Waters, said the inquiry was already ramping up the risk to women and children.

“Australia’s family law system has serious problems which need addressing, however this inquiry is politically motivated and should not go ahead,” she said.

“The Greens are in discussion with other parties and with Senators who may have changed their minds about supporting this inquiry, which is stacked with extremists that have pre-determined, non-expert opinions on violence against women and their children.

“There are serious concerns from experts, service providers and women in the community that the inquiry will make women less safe, and that victims and survivors of family violence and abuse do not feel safe giving evidence to the inquiry.

“The establishment of the inquiry has already unleashed a torrent of victim-shaming and blaming women.

“I have heard evidence from front-line domestic violence services that women are telling them offenders are feeling emboldened by the inquiry and by the media commentary that women are liars.

“More women at risk or suffering domestic violence or abuse will be damaged by the toxic vitriol the family law court inquiry will unleash, making it harder for them to come forward and access support.

“If my motion to dissolve the family law inquiry passes the Senate then it will be considered by the House of Representatives, where the Prime Minister will face a test of his leadership and whether the Liberals have truly made progress on the ‘woman problem’ plaguing its past term.

“When Pauline Hanson attacked asylum seekers, we saw the Liberal party fall into lock-step and harden its stance on refugees. Can we expect a similar escalation of hostility towards victims and survivors of family violence now Hanson has her politicised inquiry on the family law court?

“The Government has yet to implement the recommendations of the Australian Law Reform Commission review of the family law system. It should prioritise evidence-based strategies to make family law safer for victims and survivors of family violence, not allowing this compromised inquiry to go ahead,” Senator Waters said.

 

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