Making a Submission to the Inquiry
Any public contribution to an inquiry is called a submission. The Australian Law Reform Commission seeks submissions from a broad cross-section of the community, as well as from those with a special interest in a particular inquiry.
The closing date for submissions to this Discussion Paper is 30 September 2011.
There are a range of ways to make a submission or comment on the proposals and questions posed in the Discussion Paper.
Online submission tool
The ALRC strongly encourages online submissions directly through the ALRCs website <http://www.alrc.gov.au.../respond-discussion-paper>, where an online submission form will allow you to respond to individual questions. Once you have logged into the site, you will be able to save your work, edit your responses, and leave and re-enter the site as many times as you need to before lodging your final submission. You may respond to as many or as few questions and proposals as you wish.
Further instructions are available on the site. If you have any difficulties using the online submission form, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone +61 2 8238 6333.
Alternatively, written submissions may be mailed, faxed or emailed to:
The Executive Director
Australian Law Reform Commission
GPO Box 3708
SYDNEY NSW 2001
Facsimile: +61 2 8238 6363
Wayne Butler, Executive Secretary of the Shared Parenting Council saidOf interest to us are Chapter 4 - 5 and Chapters 9 - 11 as well as Chapter 21. Of particular interest will be Part C, Child Support and Family Assistance
Part C contains four chapters, Chapters 9 through 12.
Chapter 9 provides an overview of the child support framework and focuses specifically on the assessment and collection of child support.
Chapter 10 discusses CSA procedures regarding the treatment of personal information, including information protection and dealing with threats of family violence. It also addresses the child support eligibility of carers who are neither parents nor legal guardians.
Chapter 11 focuses on the points of intersection and alignment between child support and family assistance frameworks in particular, Family Tax Benefit and the reasonable maintenance action requirement.
Chapter 12 considers how family violence is relevant to family assistance and Chapter 21 which deals with Family Violence orders.
Terms of Reference
Terms of ReferenceImpact of Commonwealth Laws on those Experiencing Family Violence
The 2010 inquiry into family violence by the Australian Law Reform Commission and New South Wales Law Reform Commission (the Commissions) has identified issues beyond its scope relating to the impact of Commonwealth laws (other than the Family Law Act 1975) on those experiencing family/domestic violence.
In addition, the 2009 report of the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, Time for Action, acknowledges the importance of examining Commonwealth laws that have an impact upon the safety of women and children.
I refer to the Australian Law Reform Commission for inquiry and report, pursuant to subsection 20(1) of the Australian Law Reform Commission Act 1996 (Cth), the issue of the treatment of family/domestic violence in Commonwealth laws, including child support and family assistance law, immigration law, employment law, social security law and superannuation law and privacy provisions in relation to those experiencing family/domestic violence.
I request that the Commission consider what, if any, improvements could be made to relevant legal frameworks to protect the safety of those experiencing family/domestic violence.
Scope of the reference
In undertaking this reference, the ALRC should consider legislative arrangements across the Commonwealth that impact on those experiencing family/domestic violence and sexual assault and whether those arrangements impose barriers to effectively supporting those adversely affected by these types of violence. The ALRC should also consider whether the extent of sharing of information across the Commonwealth and with State and Territory agencies is appropriate to protect the safety of those experiencing family/domestic violence.
In undertaking this reference, the ALRC should be careful not to duplicate:
(a) the work undertaken in the Commissions 2010 family violence inquiry;
(b) the other actions being progressed as part of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children Immediate Government Actions announced by the former Prime Minister on receiving the National Councils report in April 2009; and
(c ) the work being undertaken through SCAG on the harmonisation of uniform evidence laws, in particular the development of vulnerable witness protections and recently endorsed principles for the protection of communications between victims of sexual assault and their counsellors.
Collaboration and consultation
In undertaking this reference, the ALRC should:
(a) have regard to the Commissions 2010 family violence inquiry, the National Councils report and any supporting material in relation to family violence and sexual assault laws;
(b) work closely with the relevant Australian Government departments to ensure the solutions identified are practically achievable and consistent with other reforms and initiatives being considered in relation to the development of a National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children or the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children.
Timeframe for reporting
The Commission will report no later than 30 November 2011.
Dated: 9 July 2010