Hon Christian Porter BA(Hons) BEc LLB(UWA) MSc(Dist)(LSE) MLA

Hon Christian Porter BA(Hons) BEc LLB(UWA) MSc(Dist)(LSE) MLA

Former Treasurer; Attorney General

    State Budget 2012-13: Supporting our Community - Family Court funding boost

    23/05/2012 12:00 AM
     
    • $1.2million for Family Court of WA
    • Funding for new magistrate and support staff
    The Liberal-National Government has allocated $1.2million to the Family Court of Western Australia in the 2012-13 State Budget to appoint a temporary magistrate and support staff to help de facto couples who are separating.

    The funding increase will help to clear a backlog of existing cases and reduce the time separating de facto couples wait for a court hearing.

    Attorney General Christian Porter said he acknowledged community concern about the delays experienced by many couples, married or de facto, who were waiting for the Family Court to hear their cases.

    “This additional funding will reduce the time, and hence the distress, couples face when waiting for a court hearing,” Mr Porter said.

    In the 2010-11 financial year, the court received 14,749 applications, of which 3,718 involved de facto parties, and of these 1,139 involved de facto financial applications.

    As at February 2012, the average waiting time for de facto parenting and financial matters in the Family Court of WA was 95 weeks.

    Under a 1976 agreement, the Family Court of WA is funded by both the State and Federal governments. The agreement states that expenditure on items such as de facto financial, same sex de facto and adoption lodgements is a State Government responsibility.

    “It is unfortunate that in the 2007-08 Federal Budget, the Commonwealth saw fit to provide an additional $15million for de facto property family law reforms, none of which went to WA,” the Attorney General said.

    Mr Porter said the State Government was also seeking to have the Federal Government permanently appoint another temporary Family Court magistrate who has been provided since 2009 but whose term is due to end in August this year.
     
          Fact File
    • The $1.2m injection to the Family Court of WA is part of the State Govt’s record commitment of $373m to the Dept of the Attorney General - $18m more than the 2011-12 Estimated Actual
    • WA Budget statements are available at http://ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au

    Attorney General's office - 6552 5600