Senate Committee divided over shared parenting rollback

 The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee yesterday approved changes to family law legislation that will remove even more fathers from their children’s lives.

The Committee divided down party lines. Coalition members submitted a minority report rejecting the changes, but the Labour controlled committee agreed with the much broader definition of domestic violence, the removal of penalties for knowingly making false allegations and the requirement for parents to be supportive of each other’s  role in their children’s lives, as contained in the Attorney General’s new Family Law Amendment (Family violence) Bill 2010. The Greens went further, suggesting the removal of shared parental responsibility provisions, previously known as ‘guardianship’ arrangements, illustrating their total disregard for fathers and our traditional family structure. 

Director of Men’s Rights Agency, Sue Price said we are not too far away from seeing the UK riots repeated in Australia as more and more children, having lost their father in their life, seek out companionship and support within the gang culture. “The post-mortem on the UK riots has unequivocally pointed to the lack of fathers’ involvement with these rioters and was amply illustrated when the single mother of 11 children to different fathers on leaving the court tried to blame her son’s participation in the riots as ‘the government’s fault’.

“Governments certainly share the blame for policies which encourage family separation and the increasing numbers of children born into or now living in single parent families. Large sum payments, family benefits and child support paid provides an alternative way of life to staying in a relationship or getting a job. Easy access to housing, various support services and legal aid is guaranteed if a single parent claims to be a victim of domestic violence.

“Domestic violence orders, often based on little or no evidence have long been regarded as the easiest way to remove an unwanted parent, usually the father from the family home. This new bill will guarantee an easier passage to eject a father who is trying to remain in his child’s life. 

For months now, men’s and fathers groups in Australia have tried to stop the  advance of this bill which is, they claim, based on false allegations and the unsubstantiated belief that the Family Court is handing over children to violent fathers. The onslaught has been unstoppable, fuelled by academics, securing research funding to produce studies designed to support their agenda and an attorney general who sees nothing wrong in demonising fathers by introducing legislation based solely on the presumption that only women and children deserve protection from violence. All of which ignores the facts – that significant numbers of men are victims of spousal/partner violence, more mothers abuse and kill their children and mother’s itinerant boyfriend’s present an ever present risk as the children get in the way of their mother’s new relationship. 

Even more troubling according to Sue Price is the reply given to a Senator’s question as to whether the changes to the legislation would fix parent’s concerns about child safety. Attorney General’s representative, Mrs Toni Pirani said “I guess we do not know until the changes are made”.

 Men’s Rights fathers and others around the country are demanding to know when it became acceptable to make major changes to crucial family law legislation on the basis of unjustly demonising fathers, and ignoring crucial evidence about the dangers presented by mothers and their boyfriends…..  all on a whim and guesswork.

 For further information please contact Sue Price on 0409 269 621