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Abbott’s divorce tax is wound back – again

Media Release
Penny Wright 11 Aug 2015

Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright has welcomed the Senate overturning the Abbott Government's Family Court fee increases – for the second time.

Senator Wright’s disallowance motion knocked back the motion the first time, only to see the Government increase court fees by stealth.

Senator Wright co-sponsored the today’s disallowance motion with Labor, and has called on the Government to this time respect the will of the Senate.

“We saw just how arrogant and out of touch George Brandis and the Government are by sneaking through their court fee increases last month, despite the Senate voting against it,” Senator Wright said.

“The Government must now respect the Senate’s decision and drop this unjustified and unfair tax on court users.

“It is completely inappropriate for the Government to target family breakdown as a cash cow for their flawed revenue measures.  Especially when only a minor proportion of the money raised will go back to the court systems.

“We’ve had numerous people contacting our office expressing alarm at the dramatic increase in court fees.

"These Family Court fee hikes have made it harder for victims of domestic violence to seek a divorce, so I am exceptionally pleased to have been able to secure this victory for them and others who have struggled to find the extra fees. 

"Cost is already the most common barrier to people seeking legal help, so it is appropriate that the senate has again rejected the Government's cruel attack on the most vulnerable.

“The Government must now go back to the drawing board and scrap this opportunistic approach to revenue raising and instead look at genuine structural and sustainable reforms to pay for public services.”

Media contact:               Cambell Klose   0417 173 508

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