The Australian 24 May 2023
Senator Michaelia Cash met with far-right men’s group before voting down Family Law changes
- By ELLIE DUDLEY
LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT
UPDATED 5:35PM MAY 24, 2023, FIRST PUBLISHED AT 2:43PM MAY 24, 2023
On 24 May2023 the Australian newspaper published an article by Ellie Dudley criticising that Men’s Rights Agency Director Sue Price had a supposedly “secret meeting” with the “Coalition’s Legal Affairs spokeswoman Michaelia Cash”, as if we are not allowed to do so. As we live in a democracy isn’t it our absolute right to be able to talk to anyone in our Federal or State parliaments? Or is there one rule for silencing the views of men, only allowing the views of women? Is this the developed meaning of “cancelling”?
MRA has been falsely accused of being a far-right men’s rights group who has “previously been found to arrange for private investigators to hunt down men’s partners who were hiding in women’s refuges”; involved in a network of right-wing family law and pro-gun groups and Sue Price has allegedly said during some meeting “I hate the bitches that leave.”
If there is any evidence to support these allegations, produce it now please!
The implications contained in the article suggests the “Opposition voted down a bill to amend Australia’s family law”, during “an explosive senate estimates hearing”, as a result of this meeting with MRA.
The attitude of this journalist would suggest her political views are pro Labor and anti the Coalition by her determination to implicate Peter Dutton in her tirade by accusing him of organising “a secret meeting” with MRA.
Let me explain: I forwarded an email to all politicians from both parties inviting them to consider that it might be sensible to bring fathers back into families as a solution to the escalating youth violence. The leader of the Opposition quite rightly passed my query onto Senator Cash as the Shadow Attorney General. Labor did nothing!
There is statistical evidence from the USA that 85% of youth in USA jails come from fatherless homes. Probably not too different to the situation in Australia.
The proposal contained in the amendments to the Family Law Act, introduced by Labor are contrary to providing a solution for troubled youth and more fathers will be banished from their family. Their proposals are to remove the shared parental responsibility provisions which will lead to a dramatic lessening of shared parenting time; replace the term parents with carers; prevent the updating of final court orders despite the fact that parent’s and children’s needs change over time; issue a penalty of either 12 months in jail or a fine for a person who fails to prove the other parent has contravened an order, which is made more difficult because the complainer has to reach a standard of proof that is beyond reasonable doubt, whilst the accused only has to reach a balance of probabilities in their defence.
The ongoing attempts to show Peter Dutton interfered by asking MRA to remove his name from the Facebook Post about the meeting (actually a telephone consultation) is pathetic. I have repeatedly told anyone who asked that it was my decision to remove his name, because I could see the eventual aim was to damage the standing of Peter Dutton. He doesn’t deserve that just as Men’s Rights Agency doesn’t deserve to be vilified for providing services for the last 28 years for men who are going through the trauma of family separation.
We might remind Australians that the male suicide casualties as a result of family separation are still increasing.
Here’s just one of the many supporting comments we have received since the articles appeared in the Adelaide Advertiser, Melbourne Sun Herald, the Brisbane Courier Mail and the Australian.
How wonderful to see your name in lights again , a trouble maker. Nope, a far right activist. Heck, if you are far right, I cringe with fear thinking of a real far right actor.
Well done in putting the kibosh on yet another fiddle with family law. After the big fights of the Howard years, family law has been fairly quiet. No headlines so well done. Family destruction has been on the agenda and Australian families owe you a huge thankyou.
And well done yet again.
We sent a response to the various media, but no-one published anything in recognition of our response. As follows:
Cash met with men’s rights group before debate 24May 2023
I would like to thank your newspaper for bringing attention to the Albanese government’s inquiry into family law, which has received very little if any publicity whatsoever.
Very, very few people in Australia are aware that the Labor government is planning to take the Family Court back to the dark days when many fathers caught up in the system never or rarely ever saw their children again.
The Men’s Rights Agency, which I founded with my late husband Reg in 1994, came about when we found that many of the employees in the tyre business we ran were devastated by this country’s family law and child support systems.
This Albanese government did not tell the public prior to the election that they were intending to destroy the modest changes to family law which encouraged cooperation between separating parents and fathers to remain in their children’s lives after separation.
However, I would point out that the smear that we are somehow a “far right group” is totally absurd. It is ridiculous to claim that supporting fathers is somehow “far right”; many women, mothers, daughters and sisters of separated fathers know the devastation inflicted upon them by our dysfunctional family law system. It is also absurd to suggest we hunted “down men’s partners who were hiding in women’s refuges”.
The Albanese government is trying to make hay out of the fact that I had a telephone conversation with the Shadow Attorney General, Michaelia Cash to discuss the government’s proposed changes to family law. At least she is prepared to talk to actual community groups, unlike the government, which is solely relying on taxpayer funded women’s and legal aid groups for input. In other words, this government is only talking to itself, and I congratulate Ms Cash on reaching out to hear both sides of the story.
It is a sad reflection on public discourse in this country that anyone standing up for fathers is labelled as “far right”.
We are simply an unfunded volunteer group attempting to support men at one of the most difficult periods of their lives.
I close by pointing out that separated fathers have an extremely high suicide rate in this country, and it is obvious that their maltreatment at the hands of our family law and child support systems is an intrinsic element in these personal tragedies.
Men’s Rights Agency
Mob: 0409 269 621