In a move to assist family law dispute resolution, Attorney-General George Brandis on behalf of the federal government announced on Friday a $9.87 million funding package.
The new family dispute resolution service will be piloted at eight locations around Australia including; Sunshine and Broadmeadows (VIC), Bankstown and Tamworth (NSW), Upper Mt Gravatt and Toowoomba (QLD), Darwin and Perth. At the National Association of Community Legal Centres Conference, Mr Brandis explained that $6.2 million of the funding will go towards these trial locations.
The pilots fall under the government’s $100 million National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2022 and aim to enhance mediation outcomes by providing legal and culturally suitable support to families involved in separation. This is expected to help couples make arrangements for their children without the need to go to court.
With the remaining $3.67 million, 65 government-funded Children’s Contact Services across Australia will be provided with support, boosting their total Commonwealth-supported funding to more than $17 million each year. These services assist families by offering safe spaces for supervised visits and for changeovers where children are spending separate time with each parent.