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Congratulations to the first 15 Family Relationship Centres.



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MEDIA RELEASE

Nicola Roxon MP Shadow Attorney-General 30 June 2006

Congratulations to the first 15 Family Relationship Centres

Labor’s Shadow Attorney-General today congratulated the fifteen Family Relationship Centres that will open their doors for the first time on Monday, 3 July.

“The first centres will start helping out families next week”, Nicola Roxon said.

“I send my warmest congratulations to all the organisations who successfully tendered to run centres and wish them luck with their services. I know the last couple of months must have been hard work to get the Centres ready to open.”

“Labor welcomed the Government’s Family Relationship Centre initiative since day one. In fact, Labor had been arguing for a long time that we needed more resources for services to help families - preferably to stay together, but also to help sort out issues after separation without having to go to court,” Ms Roxon said.

“These first fifteen centres have substantial expectations upon them as everyone, across the community and across the parliament, has high hopes for what can be achieved.”

Ms Roxon said Labor would continue to closely scrutinise the Government’s management of the program, to make sure Centres have the support they need to provide maximum help to families.

“So far, Mr Ruddock has mismanaged key parts of this new program.”

The tender process was rushed, contracts were finalised too late and we still have concerns about whether there has been sufficient investment of money and time in making sure staff are fully trained.”

“It is also clear that Mr Ruddock has failed to put Family Relationship Centres in some of the areas of highest need. That is an issue the Government still has to address,” Ms Roxon said.

“Family Relationship Centres have great potential, but that only makes it more important that the Government manages them well.”

Friday, 30 June 2006

For more information call Jacob Varghese: 0417 108 362 or 02 6277 4767