First tranche of Family Law reforms pass the Senate


The Greens were pleased to support changes to the Family Law Act in the Senate today that will put children’s welfare first in family law matters. Overturning regressive Howard era changes to the family court system was long-overdue.

Women’s safety sector and legal advocates have long called for a child-safety focussed court and we are happy these reforms are moving closer to that goal.

Lines attributable to Greens leader in the Senate and spokesperson on women Senator Larissa Waters

“Since the Howard government re-wrote Australia’s family laws in 2006, we have seen the presumption of shared care weaponised, instead of the best interests of kids coming first.

“We were pleased to pass amendments to the Family Law Act today, that are based on expert advice, instead of the political grandstanding that has traumatised victim-survivors, put children at risk, and provided a platform for hate and misinformation.

“Gendered violence is at the core of many cases in the family law system, and we know children frequently bear the brunt of violent relationships and protracted legal matters. “While these reforms are welcome, without more funding to courts and frontline family and domestic violence services, delays, unequal representation and lack of support will continue to put women and children at risk.

“The Greens will continue to call for comprehensive FDV education and trauma-informed training for the judiciary, legal practitioners, ICLs and family report writers, the police, and all others associated with the court process.

“We also maintain our calls for full funding for frontline FDV support services including legal services and Legal Aid. “If the Attorney General wants these reforms to work, his government needs to stump up the funding for them to do so.”