Calls for family law inquiry to come to Rockhampton
THE latest family law inquiry has been welcomed by One Nation’s candidate for Keppel, Wade Rothery, who is calling for the Federal Parliament to include Rockhampton in its regional list of hearings.
The twice-married father of four believes Rockhampton would attract a significant number of submissions due to its fly-in, fly-out miners and the hardship caused by prolonged drought.
“I’ve been through the difficulty of divorce. However, compared to many couples, mine was a walk in the park,” Mr Rothery said.
“I feel my two kids from the first marriage benefited from a reasonably clean break, but that’s not to say there weren’t times where I was frustrated with the divorce process.”
Mr Rothery said One Nation leader and Queensland Senator Pauline Hanson had promised to take the hearings to every state and territory, including regional centres, to ensure parents were given a voice in what had been described as a “broken” family law system.
“I spoke to Senator Hanson this week to not only congratulate her efforts in achieving the inquiry, but to suggest giving miners and other isolated workers a voice” Mr Rothery said.
“The fly-in, fly-out lifestyle doesn’t work for everyone and can lead to higher levels of marriage breakdown as a result of lengthy time away from the family home.”
Mr Rothery agrees that custody, legal fees and child support are the biggest issues discussed among divorced couples and says it is time for fairer system to be developed.
“The frustration experienced by divorced parents I work or speak with takes its toll in so many ways,” he said.
“Our current family law system is toxic to fathers and mothers alike, but it’s the kids who ultimately suffer.”
Mr Rothery supports the calls for 50/50 custody upon separation and agrees with Ms Hanson that domestic violence charges have been used as a weapon against former partners to strengthen custody battles.
“Our police and courts are under enough pressure without being tied up with false claims of domestic violence,” he said.
“False claims of domestic violence only weaken the legitimate cases, and that’s why perjury charges should be pursued for any parent who lies during a family law case.”
During a recent inquiry into the merging of the Family Court with the Federal Circuit Court, it was revealed that on average one women was murdered each week and three men suicided a day because the family law system was broken.
“We need to bring some balance back to the system and understand that unless we do, these death rates will continue to rise,” Mr Rothery said.
The 12-month Joint Parliamentary Inquiry into Family Law and Child Support will be made up of 10 sitting members of parliament and call on submissions from the public in coming weeks.