Illawarra and South Coast families going through the trauma of relationship breakdown have been abandoned by Scott Morrison and his decision to abolish the Family Court.
Complex family law requires specialised legal skills that only Family Court judges can deliver.
Furthermore, the Family Court is an important point of contact for the range of support services that families experiencing relationship breakdown can access.
That includes vital services to protect women and children from violence and to help navigate the complexities of financial settlements.
Local lawyers are already reporting the Burelli St courtroom is at breaking point even before these changes, with wait times of 2.5 years for some family matters.
A lack of space at the Burelli St court has sometimes meant domestic violence perpetrators and their victims are sat next to each other.
Rather than fix these problems with more resources, the Government’s solution is to shut down the Family Court.
Whitlam MP Stephen Jones, Cunningham MP Sharon Bird and Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips are calling on the Morrison Government to rethink its callous and bloody-minded decision.
“Illawarra families need help navigating through the difficult process of separation, they don’t deserve a Government that turns its back on them in their hour of need,” said Mr Jones.
Sharon Bird said the Family Law Court was established in recognition of the special needs of people in the family law system.
“This is a very poor decision by the Liberal Government that doesn’t take into account the best interests of families requiring legal decisions.”
Fiona Phillips said she was disgusted that the Morrison Government had turned its back on local families.
“I am simply flabbergasted that the government is choosing to make an already out of control situation even worse by abolishing the Family Court.
“This is not the solution and the Government needs to go back to the drawing board,” Mrs Phillips said.