Landry fights for family court judge for Rockhampton
"FRUSTRATED Central Queensland Lawyers report it can take two years to get family law cases finalised."
This is why Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry is continuing to fight for a Federal Court circuit judge to be permanently based in Rockhampton to service all of Central Queensland.
Ms Landry will tell Federal Parliament in Canberra today that a permanent judge would help to settle family law and custody disputes sooner - and help alleviate pressure on families in an area of escalating domestic violence.
"When it comes to domestic violence and family custody issues Central Queensland has some appalling statistics.
"The Capricornia police district reports the highest rate of domestic violence in Queensland.
"Sadly, North Rockhampton is among the worst of these areas.
"According to Rockhampton police - the rate of domestic violence here is 141% higher than the state average. And alarmingly the incidence of domestic violence in Central Queensland has risen by about 20% since last year.
"To compound issues associated with DV - which include custody disputes and family law cases - Rockhampton has very limited access to a Federal Court judge.
"That's why I'm fighting to have a Federal Court Circuit judge permanently based in the city - to service all of Central Queensland - including Rockhampton, Mackay, Gladstone and Emerald.
"Recently, I hosted the Federal Attorney General in Rockhampton to discuss the issue with the Central Queensland Law Society.
"The society reports that Central Queensland has a population of 321,000 people. While in contrast Cairns - with 163,000 people - has a permanent Federal Court judge.
"Frustrated CQ Lawyers report it can take two years to get family law cases finalised.
"I want to reassure the people of Capricornia that I will continue to fight for a permanent Federal Court Circuit judge to be based in Rockhampton."