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AG takes Opposition to task over family violence

AG takes Opposition to task over family violence

Attorney-General Robert McClelland has accused the Opposition of providing "entrenched obstacles" to the reporting of child abuse.The Opposition has proposed amendments to the family violence…

Attorney-General Robert McClelland has accused the Opposition of providing "entrenched obstacles" to the reporting of child abuse.

The Opposition has proposed amendments to the family violence bill introduced by the Gillard Government and passed this week by the House of Representatives.

According to Attorney-General Robert McClelland, these amendments will create "entrenched obstacles in the system to reporting family violence and child abuse".

"It's a shame the Opposition won't take a bi-partisan approach on such a significant issue when there is so much evidence that improvements are needed," McClelland said.

The passage of the bill through the House of Representatives follows new research released last week by the Australian Institute of Family Studies which showed that inter-parental conflict, fear, abuse or safety concerns remain prevalent for a significant number of parents following separation.

The Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, which has received more than 200 submissions regarding the bill, is due to report to the Senate in June 2011.

"During public consultation on the bill, a total of 73 per cent of respondents expressed support for the measures," McClelland said. "I now call on senators to listen to the community and pass these critical reforms."

Late last week (27 May), the Opposition labelled the Government's policies towards women as being "all spin and no substance".

Senator Michaelia Cash, the shadow parliamentary secretary for the status of women said that of the 46 questions she has asked the Office of Women, only 17 answers have been provided.

"If it is not a lack of interest in Australian women that is preventing answers on these policy and budget measures, it is professional incompetence that is hindering the free and fair flow of information and the democratic process," she said.

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