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Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Page: 1


Mr Price asked the Attorney-General, in writing, on 10 March 2009:

(1)   During the review of Future Governance Options for Federal Family Law Courts in Australia, were any of the organisations representing litigants women’s, men’s and grandparent’s organisations consulted; if so, to what effect; if not, why not.

(2)   Following receipt of the ‘Semple report’ on the review in part (1) (Des Semple and the Attorney-General’s Department, Striking the Right Balance, August 2008), has he or his department consulted with any of the organisations representing litigants women’s, men’s and grandparent’s organisations; if so, what was the response; if not, why not.


Mr McClelland (Attorney-General) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(1)   The Terms of Reference required the Review of the delivery by the federal courts of family law services to ‘consult the judiciary and Chief Executives of the Family Court of Australia and Federal Magistrates Court, as well as with the Federal Court and a small number of other key stakeholders identified during the process of the consultations’. During the Review, the Review Team and the consultant did not directly consult the organisations referred to in (1) above. All interested persons and organisations, including these organisations, had the opportunity to make a submission in response to the Report of the Review and a consultation paper (see (2) below).

(2)   On 20 November 2008, the Report of the Review and a consultation paper were released for public comment by 6 February 2009. My Department received 35 submissions, including submissions from National Legal Aid, Women’s Legal Services Australia, and a combined submission from the Lone Fathers Association, Parents Without Partners, Dads in Distress, and the Shared Parenting Council of Australia. The submissions are available on my Department’s website, www.ag.gov.au.