September 24th 2005

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Telstra sale: not a 'done deal'

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Could Australia cope with a natural disaster?

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Are new anti-terror laws good for Australia?

INTELLIGENCE: Past espionage failure spooks US partnership

STRAWS IN THE WIND: New Orleans - a cracked society / Unemployment / Costello's new constituency / Liberal leadership / Potemkin politics

TAIWAN: Taiwan's tax system keeps money in the family

UNITED STATES: Judge Roberts impresses at US Senate hearing

AGRICULTURE: Unbridled globalism harms poorer nations

SPECIAL FEATURE: How the sex industry destroys society (Part 2)

THEATRE: Play's one-sided slant on Bush and the Iraq War

Who is to blame for New Orleans tragedy? (letter)

Tony Blair and the Iraq War (letter)

Family Law's five-fold disaster (letter)

OBITUARY: Frank Rooney - R.I.P.

BOOKS: UNSPEAKABLE: Facing Up To Evil in an Age of Genocide and Terror, by Os Guinness

MAKING 'BLACK HARVEST': Warfare, film-making and living dangerously in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea

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Family Law's five-fold disaster (letter)

by Janos Paskandy

News Weekly, September 24, 2005

Almost 30 years after the enactment of the Family Law Act 1975, Australia has suffered a five-fold disaster:

  • a divorce epidemic;

  • a half stolen generation;

  • fathers dispossessed of their property, children and a large part of their income on an ongoing basis;

  • a lower level of achievement but increased drug abuse and higher crime rate among children, attributed to their growing up practically fatherless; and

  • dispossessed fathers' suicides exceeding the road toll.

In search of a solution, the Government established a House of Representatives standing committee on family and community affairs.

Public submissions were called for on the issue, "in particular, whether there should be a presumption that children will spend equal time with each parent and, if so, in what circumstances such a presumption could be rebutted".

Even the blind could see that enacting such a presumption would bring to an end the five-fold disaster.

The winners would be children and fathers, and ultimately society as a whole, at the expense of a divorce industry and those mothers who disregard the most important need of their children and hence harm society.

In spite of the overwhelming majority of inquiry submissions which supported the presumption, the committee report recommended against it.

A draft Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Bill 2005, if made law, would see the establishment of 65 family relationship centres, at a cost of $397.2 million over four years.

The Government would make these centres a compulsory entry point for the resolution of problems arising from separation, somehow trusting that those women - knowing what they can get out of the family courts and being hell-bent on not allowing a relationship between their children and their fathers, and reaping the financial benefits of their arrangements - would all of a sudden voluntarily short-change themselves.

Janos Paskandy,
Mirrabooka, WA

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