Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Child Support Scheme improved

Minister for Community Services Larry Anthony today welcomed the passage through Parliament of legislation that will greatly improve the Child Support Scheme.

“The Child Support Legislation Amendment Bill (No.2) 2000 will help all separated parents and most importantly their children. The changes will improve the Scheme in a balanced way.

The changes include:

  • Benefits for separated parents who take on a second job or regular overtime to support their subsequent family
  • An increase in the Family Tax Benefit income test deduction for child support paid by non-resident parents with a subsequent family
  • Allowing the Child Support Agency to intercept the non-resident parent’s share of Family Tax Benefit for the children for whom they have a child support debt
  • Allowing a non-resident parent to elect to waive their personal entitlement to Family Tax Benefit enabling the resident parent to receive the non-resident parent’s share
  • Establishing Departure Prohibition Orders so in cases where a non-resident parent has persistently failed to meet their Child Support commitments they may be prevented from leaving Australia.

“However, I am disappointed the Labor Party and Democrats opposed important measures that would have encouraged parents to maintain contact with their children and increase the fairness of the Scheme.

“In the best interests of children affected by separation, the Government did not want to further delay the passage of this important legislation. The Labor Party has delayed it for nearly 7 months already.

“This Government has done more than Labor ever did to improve the Child Support Scheme and we will continue the work to ensure the best possible result for separated parents and their children,” Mr Anthony said.