Review of the Family Law Act

Georgie Wakenshaw - Monday, June 18, 2018

Review of the Family Law System

The Federal government has commissioned the ALRC to undertake the first comprehensive review of the family law system since the commencement of the Family Law Act in 1975.

Purpose of the Review

The review will focus on supporting families to resolve their family law disputes quickly and safely by considering:

  • “appropriate early and cost-effective resolution of all family law disputes;
  • the protection of the best interests of children and their safety;
  • the best ways to inform decision makers about the best interests of children and their views;
  • family violence and child abuse, including protection for vulnerable witnesses;
  • laws in relation to parenting and property division after separation.”

Why is the review important?

Notably the review represents the first comprehensive review into the family law system since the commencement of the Act in 1976. This means that even though there have been widespread changes in Australia, both socially and to the needs of families, the family law system has not kept up with those changes.

The current system has been criticised as being:

  • costly;
  • harmful to the dignity and privacy of separating families;
  • inefficient;
  • ineffective in dealing with safety issues and interacting with other services and Courts; and
  • Adversarial in nature and providing an appropriate dispute resolution and adjudication process.


Australian Government, Australian Law Reform Commission, website accessed 31/05/2018

Rae Kaspiew, “Separated parents and the family law system: What does the evidence say?”, 3 August 2016, Australian Government, Australian Institute of Family Studies, accessed 31/05/2018


Georgie Wakenshaw - Thursday, June 14, 2018


The Fair Work Commission has announced a 3.5% increase to minimum wages. The increase applies from 1 July 2018.

The outcome of the Fair Work Commission’s Expert Panel’s review is that from 1 July 2018:

  • the National Minimum Wage and Modern Award minimum wages will increase by 3.5%; and
  • the National Minimum Wage will increase to $719.20 per week (up from $694.90) or $18.93 per hour (up from $18.29).

Employers who pay their employees at or close to the minimum wage rates pursuant to a Modern Award, the National Minimum Wage or other industrial instrument, will be required to increase their employees’ pay in the first pay period on or after 1 July 2018.

For further information in relation to the changes, please contact Skye Engwerda (03) 5480 6344.