Media Release: Monday 27 March 2006

The Executive Chairman of the Australian Christian Lobby, Jim Wallace, called on the Government to amend the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Bill 2005, which is set to be debated in the Parliament this week.

“This Bill fails to recognise what is natural and right, that fathers are equally parents and that while relationships might fail, parenting is forever,” said Mr Wallace. “Failure to begin custody negotiations from the premise that both parents might equally love their child is ridiculous, and courts should be directed to observe this as the bottom line,” he said.

“There is no argument with the fact that this principle should be rebuttable. However unless good reasons to reduce time for one or other of the parents can be established, surely commonsense says the law should be required to give each not only equal responsibility for the child, but equal access,” said Mr Wallace.

“To allow this legislation to pass unamended is to further entrench the strongly feminist, even anti-male character of our family law system,” he said. “Our family law system reflects more ideology than compassion, and it is a shortcoming being progressively recognised in the rest of the world, with many jurisdictions having already amended similar legislation to acknowledge the natural and reasonable rights of fathers and children.”

Contact: Jim Wallace