The Senate Committee report was tabled in Parliament last night, and the Committee has come out in support of the Bill!
The Committee has also recommended some minor changes, including clarifying that the safety of children must be the priority in deciding family law cases. The Greens Senators make some additional comments, including the need to remove equal shared parenting provisions, include exposure to family violence within the definition of family violence, and create a comprehensive risk assessment framework.
The next step in the process is for the Bill to be debated in the Senate – we hear this is likely to happen in the week beginning 12 September. The Senate Committee’s recommendations are not included automatically in the Bill. Rather, the Committee makes the recommendations to the Senate and the Senate can choose whether or not to make the recommended changes, make other changes, pass the Bill as is, etc.
Any changes that are made in the Senate will need to to back to the House of Representatives to be passed by both Houses. So, at a minimum, the Bill will need the support of Labor and the Greens in the Senate (with or without changes), and Labor, the Greens, and independents Wilkie, Oakeshott and Windsor, in the House of Representatives (if any changes are made).