4 Jul 2012

Family Court judge warns against cost-cutting

9:21 am on 4 July 2012

The Principal Family Court Judge is warning against cutbacks to the supervision of violent parents.

Judge Peter Boshier has made the comments as the Government prepares to release its long-awaited review of the Family Court.

The review aims to address the Family Court's spiralling operating costs, which now sit at about $137 million a year.

The court has the power to order state-funded sessions where violent parents can have controlled access to their children.

In a speech to supervised contact providers, Judge Boshier has said that such a scheme is essential and one that cannot be curtailed for financial reasons.

"We are seeing worse parenting, caused by a range of factors, than we've seen in the past," Judge Boshier says.

"The prevalence of methamphetamine leads to awful parenting.

"We have a raft of issues here, not just violence, but bad parenting, neglect and abuse.

"I think the need for oversight has increased because of the complexities of these issues."

Judge Boshier says supervised contact centres are already the ambulance at the bottom of the hill, and any steps to limit or jeopardise their existence would be extremely short-sighted.