Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Labor rejects contact with children

The Government’s attempts to increase contact between children and their parents will receive no support from the Labor Party, Minister for Community Services Larry Anthony said today.

Commenting after a break down in negotiations over the Child Support Amendment Legislation Bill, Mr Anthony said he was disappointed an agreement could not be reached since the amendments were originally canvassed by the Joint Select Committee on Certain Family Law Issues, chaired by Labor Member Roger Price in 1994.

“Contact between parents and children is essential for a child’s growth – Labor recognised it in 1994 but unfortunately will not do anything about it,” said Mr Anthony.

“Changes to the legislation recognise the extra cost of providing food, accommodation and living expenses for the non-custodial parent caring for the child.

“Research by Murray Woods and Associates shows non-custodial parents who have contact with their children are more likely to pay child support.

“Further, children grow up more balanced with the influence of both parents,” Mr Anthony said.

Where a child support payer cares for their children between 10 per cent and 30 per cent of the year, their child support formula percentages will be reduced by 2 to 3 per cent.

“These changes will have a minimal affect on the payments received by the custodial parent, and the Government’s increased family payments mean those parents are already better off,” said Mr Anthony.

“I hope the Labor Party can come to their senses and help make the Child Support Scheme fairer for all – especially for our children,” said Mr Anthony.