Family violence & Commonwealth laws e-news | Issue 6

Issue 6 | 29 June 2011   View original format

The month in summary

Thank you to everyone who made submissions to our four Issues Papers throughout April—and beyond! We received 81 in total. Non-confidential submissions are published on our website and are available to the public. View submissions >>

On 30-31 May, two members of the Inquiry team attended the Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Forum, presented by the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research in Mackay. The conference was informative and well represented by various Indigenous community and service providers. We were able to network with frontline organisations and departments. The overall discussion of family violence issues was frank and revealing. As we also attended the conference last year, it presented an opportunity to provide feedback to the audience on the work of the ALRC, both in the first ALRC Family Violence Inquiry, and the current Inquiry. In addition to the feedback provided at the conference we also published an article in the Indigenous Law Bulletin and released a podcast in December 2010, however the opportunity to speak to members of the community face to face was really important to us.

Throughout June, the ALRC held Advisory Panel Roundtables around the main areas of Commonwealth law under consideration in this Inquiry: Migration; Employment; Superannuation; Social Security; Child Support and Family Assistance; and Income Management.  ALRC inquiries usually establish an expert Advisory Committee, but because of the complex nature of this Inquiry we have opted for specialist panels in the key areas under review. The establishment of panels of experts such as the ones we have put together for this Inquiry is an invaluable aspect of ALRC inquiries—assisting in the identification of key issues, providing quality assurance in the research and consultation effort, and assisting with the development of reform proposals.

What happens next

The team are all very busy writing at the moment: using your submissions in response to the Issues Papers, comments we received via other channels, and advice received in face-to-face consultations, to produce a Discussion Paper (DP), which will contain a more detailed treatment of the issues and specific proposals for reform.

We plan to release the DP at the end of July, calling for submissions in response to a range of proposals and additional questions. As we have to report by the end of November, you will need to keep to the timetable for submissions.  We can only allow a submission period of approximately 8 weeks. We will also, at that stage, undertake a further round of national consultations.