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National News - 2020.08.19

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

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Mediation becomes the Court's priority

Anne-Marie Rice, a recent appointment as Senior Registrar to the Brisbane Registry, has spoken with the Sydney Morning Herald about the 'profound shift' towards mediation that is taking place in our Courts.


Family Court - new Registrars

The Family Court has recently announced the appointment of new Registrars across three states as part of what they call an 'ongoing and extensive recruitment process'.

Victoria - Registrars Maria Kourtis and Cara Litterick

Queensland - Registrars Gerardine Hibberd, Myles Walker and Samuel Gray

New South Wales - Registrars Lynda Maitland and Sandra Soden

The announcement particularly mentions the Lighthouse Project (DV screening) and the PPP500 project (for property pools less than $500,000) as benefactors of these appointments. You can read more about that here.


Should the national government do something about State sectarianism?

There have been growing issues caused by state border closures, including families that were once happily co-parenting being thrown into arguments over who the children should live with.

There have also been issues with medical care across the borders for country areas that don't have major hospitals, and children at boarding schools being forced into hotel quarantine if the parents cannot make an 11 hour round trip without stopping or getting out of the car.

With National Cabinet meeting on Friday it is expected that the problems facing border communities will be a top priority. You can read more about that here.


Will the WA battle become a Commonwealth battle?

Will Clive Palmer's battle with Western Australia end up costing the Commonwealth billions of dollars? It has now been suggested that if WA's retrospective legislation survives Palmer's High Court challenge, that Palmer's company (which is domiciled in Singapore) could use a free trade agreement to force costly arbitration with the Commonwealth government.

You can read more on that here.


Family Violence impacts Women's Centres

In this article from the Illawarra Mercury, Judy Duant who is the chairwoman for the Illawarra Women's Centre talks about the challenges facing services like her's.

She cites statistics regarding issues facing women during the pandemic including:

  • Households with children [are experiencing] an extra six hours a day to care or supervision.

  • For heterosexual nuclear families, around four hours are being done by women, and two by their male partners.

  • Women's jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to this crisis than men's

  • Women are over-represented in casual employment, and thus ineligible for the government's JobKeeper package

  • Women are withdrawing a greater proportion of their super balance

The Australian Institute of Criminology's findings about women's experiences of domestic violence during the early stages of the pandemic show that of the 15,000 Australian women surveyed, 11.6 per cent (1 in 10) reported experiencing emotionally abusive, harassing or controlling behaviour.

Read more in that article by clicking here.


Will the coronavirus vaccine be mandatory?

Scott Morrison says he wants the vaccine to be 'as mandatory as you can possibly make it' while WHO tells us that natural herd immunity will not save us.


Natasha Stott Despoja AO on our domestic violence emergency

Natasha Stott Despoja will address the National Press Club today (Wednesday 19 August) on the ongoing national emergency that is violence against women. No doubt we will hear about her speech in most major publications.


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