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Thursday, 12 December 1996
Page: 8960

(Question No. 932)

Mr Price asked the Treasurer, upon notice, on 6 November 1996:

(1) Is the Review Office the means by which clients of the Child Support Agency (CSA) have decisions of the CSA reviewed; if so, do officers of the Review Office follow precedents in conducting reviews.

(2) Are decisions of the review officers published.

(3) Is the only avenue of appeal against decisions of review officers to the Family Court of Australia.

Mr Costello —The Assistant Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) The Child Support Review Office provides an administrative method for departing from administrative assessments raised under Child Support legislation. The Child Support Review Office does not review other decisions of the Child Support Agency. Clients of the Child Support Agency have the right to object against some decisions made under the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988 and appeal rights are to the Family Court or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Review officers follow and are bound by Family Court precedents.

(2) Decisions of review officers are not published, however the parties are notified in writing of the reasons for the determination.

(3) Section 115 of the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 provides the circumstances under which an application can be made to the Family Court of Australia after a determination has been made by a review officer. It is not an appeal from the determination made by the review officer. The court deals with the matter as if it were an initial application.