OPINION: Hanson not the one to fix our failing system
PAULINE Hanson's appointment as co-chair of a new parliamentary inquiry into family law continues to irritate and it seems I am not alone.
Hayley Foster from Women's Safety in NSW makes a valid point about victim shaming and has pondered how victims of domestic and family violence will come forward to an inquiry whose deputy chairwoman has already made up her mind that women are lying and vindictive in their complaints about domestic violence.
Hanson's reprehensible conduct in using parliamentary privilege to accuse her former daughter-in-law of making false claims in the context of family law proceedings should preclude Hanson from even being considered as a fair and unbiased co-chair.
The Australian Law Reform Commission released a report in March this year after undertaking a thorough and well-referenced inquiry into the family law system.
The ALRC report matters because it recognises that the existing family law model - which requires parties to navigate multiple courts across jurisdictions - fails to meet the needs of children and families across the family law, child protection and family violence jurisdictions.
The inquiry examined key court data and unequivocally found that the vast majority of matters that commenced in the court would settle but that family violence and abuse were sustained and a growing issue for the courts.
Close to 800 experiences of the Family Court system were collated and examined, and the key themes were that the family law system was unsafe, overly complex, slow and expensive.
It's hardly a surprising report about a failing system.
With the benefit of the ALRC recommendations, now is the time to digest the report, roll up our sleeves and get our knuckles dirty fixing a failing system.
Another inquiry is a waste of our taxpayer dollars and this particular Pandora's box will only serve to distract from the urgent work that needs to be done towards reform.