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Monday, 21 February 2011
Page: 846

Debate resumed, on motion by Mr Neumann:

That this House:

(1)   notes that in 2006, the Howard Government made sweeping changes to the Family Law Act 1975 in parenting matters, and that these changes:

(a)   elevated the rights of parents above the need to protect children; and

(b)   have been analysed and criticised in the following reports:

(i)   Family Courts violence review by Professor Richard Chisholm, former Justice of the Family Court;

(ii)   Evaluation of the family law reforms by the Australian Institute of Family Studies; and

(iii)   Improving responses to family violence in the family law system by the Family Law Council;

(2)   acknowledges that on 11 November 2010, the Hon. Robert McClelland, Attorney-General, released a draft bill Family Law Amendment (Family Violence) Bill 2010 (the bill) for public consultation open to 14 January 2011, proposing amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 to provide better protection for children and families at risk of violence;

(3)   supports the Federal Labor Government in taking steps to protect children from abuse, neglect and family violence; and

(4)   urges the Federal Labor Government to proceed with the bill to ensure that the best interest of the child is the paramount consideration in all court proceedings in relation to children.