The new family violence laws announced by the Federal Government are a step in the right direction but further reform is required.
According to the Law Council of Australia (LCA), the proposed amendments within the Government's Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill is the first of many steps required to address the issues raised in the reports released by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Professor Richard Chisholm AM and the Family Law Council.
While the LCA welcomes the proposed amendments, it has called for further reform.
"What we need to consider here is whether the Bill is intended to be the sum total of the Government's response to the reports, or whether it is the first step in a broader process of reform," said chair of the Family Law Section of the LCA, Geoff Sinclair.
"Issues of family violence are important and it is right for the Government to give priority to them but there are other broader issues raised in the reports which also need to be addressed."
Yesterday the Federal Government announced its new legislation aimed at combating family violence, claiming the amendments would prioritise the safety of children, encourage people to bring forward evidence of family violence and child abuse, and assist families, family law professionals and the courts to better identify harmful behaviour through new definitions of 'family violence' and 'child abuse'.