‘Very beneficial’: Hanson’s new role


PAULINE Hanson says her personal experiences make her suited to co-chair an inquiry into the Family Court system, saying "no one knows" what she's "been through" in life.

The One Nation leader has confirmed she and veteran Liberal MP Kevin Andrews will be co-chairs of the newly-announced parliamentary inquiry into family law in Australia.

Appearing on the Today show this morning, Senator Hanson slammed the Family Court system as "unfair and unworkable" for men.

Asked if she is suited for the role of co-chair, she said: "No one knows of my role or what I've actually experienced in my life. I think my experiences in life are going to be very beneficial to this inquiry. I've been through this as a mother, a wife, a grandmother. But it's not just about my views - it's about what the whole panel thinks."



Senator Hanson has previously pointed to her personal experience in having two marriage breakdowns and being the mother of a parent who was denied custody of their children.

The One Nation leader criticised the Family Court system, saying cases typically "take months" and "parents don't have the opportunity to see their children".

"I think a lot of women out there abuse the system by instigating false DVOs against their partners," she said. "Some lawyers also push that point of view. I think that's unfair to these fathers and I know the court system doesn't have the ability to prove whether it's false claims. There is perjury but no one is charged with perjury. People must be held responsible for their actions."

Asked whether Prime Minister Scott Morrison had given this inquiry the green light to keep her on-side in the Senate, she dismissed the suggestion as "a load of rubbish".

"Absolute rubbish. I put my case forward and originally spoke to Malcolm Turnbull about this, then to George Brandis, about having a review into the Family Law court system. I was the one who got (Former Family Court Chief Justice) Diana Bryant down to Canberra and had a meeting with her and the CEO registrar of the courts.

"The whole fact is I've been on top of this and put my case forward. I will fight for many things in parliament and I will prove to the PM how worthy this is. He knows how important this is to the people of Australia, and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for backing it."


Scott Morrison confirmed he would support Senator Hanson as co-chair of the inquiry.
Scott Morrison confirmed he would support Senator Hanson as co-chair of the inquiry.

Speaking on Today after Senator Hanson, Mr Morrison confirmed he would support Senator Hanson as co-chair of the inquiry. "She has been an advocate on this for a long time like many members of parliament have," he said.

The Prime Minister said the family law system is "in need of improvement".

"Family and relationship breakdown is one of the prime causes of suicide and other terrible things that happen in our community," he said.

Women's Legal Services Queensland chief executive Angela Lynch said while yet another inquiry ran, one woman every week would die.

"How many more women and children have to die in this system? And we're now going to wait another 12 months," Ms Lynch told reporters in Canberra yesterday.

She said somewhere between 50 and 85 per cent of family law matters involved domestic violence.

"The greatest impediment to women leaving domestic violence in this country is the family law system," she said.

"We're asking for reform, we're asking for specialisation, we're asking for a family and domestic violence court." The government will consult Labor on the terms of reference, and the inquiry will run for about a year.

- with AAP

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