The inquiry into Australia’s “broken” family law system begins in Townsville today ahead of six months of public hearings across the country.
The wide-ranging review will examine issues including the onus of proof required to gain an apprehended violence order, the cost of the court process, claims of false evidence being used against a former partner and the rights of men involved in family breakdowns.
The inquiry is being led by Liberal backbencher Kevin Andrews and One Nation’s Pauline Hanson, who says her office is approached regularly with stories from men who have been treated unfairly by the system.
“I’m wanting this to be the people’s inquiry,” Senator Hanson said on Sunrise.
“It’s been horrendous to read some of these submissions from all different types of people from different walks of life, so we’re hoping to hear what their suggestions are to clean up the whole system.”
It was Hanson who pushed for the inquiry, but since it was announced there’s been controversy about her role as deputy chair, with the ALP leading calls for her removal.
“I don’t have any agenda here whatsoever but to find a fix for everyone and to do it equally,” Hanson claimed.
“It’s going to be tough to find the right answers, but we can’t just walk away and say “we can’t talk about this because it upsets some people.”