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Greens succeed in unwinding Abbott's divorce tax

Penny Wright 25 Jun 2015

The Senate has overturned the Abbott Government's Family Court fee increases, voting in favour of a disallowance motion by Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright.

The increased fees, which would have particularly affected family violence victims, is the first of the Abbott Government's 2015 Budget measures to be knocked back by the Senate.

Senator Wright said the fee hikes, such as a $350 increase to the cost of a divorce application, were unjustified.

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Government must boost legal assistance to tackle family violence

Federal cuts to legal assistance funding will undermine efforts to tackle domestic violence, say the Australian Greens.

Legal assistance and domestic violence are two separate agenda items for tomorrow's Law, Crime and Community Safety Council Meeting, but the Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright says they should be addressed together.

"If the Government is really genuine about addressing domestic violence, they need to fund the services out there helping people to understand their legal options and act on them," Senator Wright said.

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Legal aid reversal welcome, but just the start

Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright says the Government should not stop at reversing cuts to the legal assistance sector, but look at increasing funding in the upcoming budget.

"Legal assistance services were operating on a shoe-string budget before the Attorney-General's cuts," Senator Wright said.

"Today's policy reversal is extremely welcome, but this should only be the beginning. The Productivity Commission's recent report said $200 million more was required just to address urgent need."

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