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More Family Court cutbacks.

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More Family Court Cutbacks Robert McClelland - Shadow Attorney-General

Media Statement - 13 September 2000

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Cuts to the operating budget of the Family Court have hit regional areas the hardest, according to the Shadow Attorney-General, Robert McClelland.

"This week it has been confirmed that the Rockhampton registry of the court will lose its two counsellors," said Mr McClelland.

"Opening hours for the registry office will also be cut back from five days a week to only two.

"This is symptomatic of cutbacks to the court which are occurring around the country.

"Of the 80 jobs which are predicted to be lost as a result of the cuts, many will go in smaller registries around the country which are already struggling under high case loads and lengthy delays.

"This is yet another example of the government breaking the commitment John Howard made at Nyngan - that no more services to regional Australia would be cut under the Howard Government.

"The Family Court had already been forced to restrict access to its counselling services prior to the announcement of these latest cuts.

"Counselling services provided by the Family Court are vital to the resolution of matters before the Court.

"The longer that breakdowns go unresolved, the more likely that social problems will be exacerbated and in worst case scenarios domestic violence will raise its ugly head.

"Counselling services stop a lot of trauma, particularly trauma for children."

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.