Federal Election 2019: Meet the Non-Custodial Parents’ Party (Equal Parenting)

Summary

Website: http://www.equalparenting.org.au/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/www.equalparenting.org.au/
Previous names: Non-custodial Parents Party
Slogans:
Because children need both parents
Themes: Misogyny.  Oh, alright, father’s rights, being right wing, not paying child support, hating your ex, being generally selfish.  In case you can’t tell, I didn’t take to the NCPP.
Electorate:
Lower House: Cunningham
Preferences: A straight conservative ticket: the Liberals, United Australia, Sustainable Australia, Labor and the Greens.    Sustainable’s place on the ticket might indicate a care for the environment, but I suspect it mostly indicates a distaste for Labor and the Greens…
Previous reviews

Policies & Commentary

Oh boy, I have *not* been looking forward to this one.  Properly, I should have left it to last, since the only people who will be in a position to vote for (or, ideally, against) this party will be the good folk of Cunningham, but I really didn’t want it hanging over me for that long.  (Also, I try not to have the more extreme parties at the top of my page for any longer than I have to, as this attracts the wrong sort of attention.)

Anyway, if you are not in Cunningham, I suggest you skip this one and go get yourself an ice cream.  You’ll be better off in every way.

The NCPP’s front page leads with information about their sole candidate, and a how to vote card.  They then get straight into their proposed Family Law and Child Support Amendment Bill.  Apparently, they gave these bills personally to Pauline Hanson and Brian Burston back in 2016, but nothing happened.  They then emailed Burston again with a copy of the Bill in 2018, since he was no longer with One Nation and was now with United Australia.  Alas, Burston never responded.

This just indicates that all of our currently elected politicians to Canberra simply do not care about making real changes to fix the family law and child support problems that exist in this country.

The NCPP provides the bill, a summary and an explanatory memorandum.  The latter is probably the most illuminating for those who don’t know the existing Bill well enough to recognise the clauses they are replacing.  The basis for the changes is that the NCPP feels that the family court is unfairly biased in favour of women and places far too much weight on allegations of abuse or family violence.

The Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2011(Act no. 189 of 2011) then came into effect on 7 June 2012. This legislation provided a significant change to the operation of the Family Law Act 1975.

As a result of this amending legislation made in 2011, the 2006 “consideration” of equal time provisions was now to be given a “secondary” consideration – i.e. after alleged or otherwise issues of family violence which were now given the first priority.

Whilst the 2006 amendments did not go far enough in allowing for a rebuttable presumption of joint child custody; the family violence amendments 3 made in 2011 then significantly undermined attempts at children being able to have contact with both parents after either separation or divorce. This is to the point that children now have less contact with both parents than before the 2006 amendments occurred.

Yes, it’s just terrible when a parent is restricted from seeing their child just because they have been beating up that child’s other parent.  Or, you know, abusing the child.

The difference in the words “paramount” and “primary” is important. At present the best interests of the children are “paramount” – that is, they are determinative. The lack of parental rights and the rights of other relatives is a key problem in family law…

The paramountcy principle means that only children have rights under the current family law legislation. As a result, parents and other relatives, who should have rights, actually have no rights.

You know what?  I think that it *is* the children whose rights matter when it comes to custody.  The right of a parent to live with a child is far outweighed by that child’s right to live in safety.  Children are not belongings; they are not owned by their parents.  They are individuals with rights of their own.  Which, incidentally, the Family Court is not always very good at protecting.

I’ve already written about this in my post on the Australian Better Families Party, so I’m just going to plagiarise myself here:

A child’s right to continued access to both parents is strongly supported by the Family Court. The presumption on which the court bases its judgments is that Equal Shared Parental Responsibility is best for children. Moreover,  a 2010 evaluation of family law reforms commissioned by the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs showed that even in cases where there were allegations of both family and child abuse, shared custody was awarded in 75.8% of cases.  Where the alleged abuse was only of the parent, and not the children, shared custody was awarded in 79.6% of cases.

(The report is very, very long, but this information can be found in Table 8.7 on page 190 of the report.)

Thus, we are left with two options: either we must assume that 75% of abuse allegations are false, or we have to conclude that the Family Court is actually bending over backwards to give shared custody, even when this might not be in the best interest of the child.

And that is under current law, remember.  NCPP wants to change the law to make it even harder for parents to lose custody, even in cases where abuse is alleged.

The NCPP’s Bill then goes on to talk about the inalienable right to privacy of parents who don’t pay child support, and how unfair it is that the tax office and child support officers get to hound them for money.  But on the other hand, when it comes to the family court, they want to remove certain restrictions on publication of court proceedings, so evidently that right to privacy doesn’t apply to everyone.  In particular, under their legislation, it would now be permissible to publish the names, addresses and occupations of the parties and witnesses.

Which I’m sure will make victims of domestic violence feel super safe.  But at least they aren’t being hounded by the tax office, which is a much bigger invasion of privacy.

(They also want to publish charges, defenses, and counter-charges, the decision of the court and any observations made by the court in giving it, because public shaming is also fun.)

We then go back to making Child Support Officers more accountable, and making sure they can’t get access to tax file numbers, because privacy is important.  Also, they want to cap child support liability.

Approximately 43 per cent of child support payers are either unemployed or effectively unemployed on very low incomes. (Reference: Table 5.2 of the Child Support Scheme Facts and Figures 2006-07). Unfair child support assessments have created this disincentive to work.

Right, because what sort of reasonably person would be motivated to work by a desire to support their children?

So the maximum combined child support income cannot be more than 0.5 of average male weekly earnings.  No matter what the parents are earning, how many kids there are, or what proportion of custody anyone has.  Also, when making a property settlement, any assets one party brought to the marriage belong entirely to that party.

OK, I’ve been trying to keep gender out of this, but let’s stop pretending, shall we?  When a couple have children, nine times out of ten, it’s the woman who stays at home with the child for a period of time, the woman who loses income, the woman who loses superannuation, the woman whose future earning capacity is negatively affected.  One of the reasons previously owned assets come into play here is to make up for the income lost by the woman in the course of parenting their children.

This is an incredibly selfish Bill, frankly.  It is also a very dangerous one for people in abusive relationships.  The presumption of joint custody requires parents to exchange information even if there is ‘hostility’ between them, which is rather scary, and their child support bill seems to amount to ‘why should I have to pay for the upbringing of my own kids if my wife has left me.’  (Which is also a form of control, of course, since poverty is a trap of its own).

I never thought I’d say this, but well done, Pauline Hanson.  I trust you binned the Bill the moment you were out of their sight.

Well, that was revolting.  Let’s look at their policies, shall we?

Their policies are divided into Family Law and Child Support, and Non Family Law and Child Support.

The former are in line with their Bill, but let’s see what else jumps out, shall we.

OK, well, they are quite incensed that the government is now encouraging parents to continue supporting young adult children. How very dare they!

Once again, we are reminded of the terrible suffering of parents who are forced to become unemployed in order to avoid paying Child Support.  Someone get me a violin.

They want parents to decide on child support, property settlements and family assistance payments between themselves without involving the government, because that is certainly going to be fair and equitable if one party has reason to be afraid of the other.

They want to replace the family court with a family tribunal, that would include ‘respected members from the local community encompassing health, social and community interest groups would participate in a Family Tribunal.’

I’m sorry, but why?  This just seems like a way to get the whole community to take sides in your argument. Also… many abusers are absolutely charming to people who aren’t their spouse, and can be confident and relaxed when their spouse is in the room, whereas many people who have suffered abuse will come across as nervous, uncertain, and emotional, which are generally character traits that read as unreliable and unstable. I feel like this whole system is set up to make things as easy as possible for abusers and as hard as possible for victims.  But then, their liberal references to ‘proven’ abuse suggests that they don’t really think abuse is happening.  Women, you know.  Always lying about something.

On non-child support matters, The NCPP are against government interference in Aboriginal communities because they totally understand their suffering.

We do not see any philosophical difference between the unwarranted Government control of the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islander communities and the unwarranted Government control of families, in general.

I feel a sudden and unaccountable urge to re-watch this video.

On crime and justice, we learn that

Over the 66 years to 1984, Australia’s rate of imprisionment per head of population rose by a paltry 13 per cent. Over just the just the past 30 years, however, its more than doubled.

This increase has been substantially cause by the Family Law Act 1975 and the actions of the Family Court of Australia.

Basically, children who don’t spend equal amounts of time with their parents have social problems and will probably grow up to be criminals.  I’m amazed these guys aren’t trying to make divorce illegal (actually, I think they *were* trying to roll back no-fault divorce at one point, so I guess we should be thankful that they have evolved).

On defense, we are once more reminded that the Aboriginal community is suffering very nearly as badly from government interference as non-custodial parents.  Also, they don’t want us to be involved in foreign wars, which is perhaps the only topic on which I agree with the NCPP.

They don’t like red tape, and they support manufacturing. And on education, they are worried that non-custodial parents don’t get enough input into educational decision-making for their children.

The NCPP wants to preserve the environment, but not very much, because they don’t think that wind or solar power work well enough and so we’d better stick to coal.

On health, we are told that ‘The health of both men and women are often adversely affected by our oppressive family law and child support system. This very often has a severe effect on their mental health and physical well being.’

But their only health policy is on male health, so I guess women aren’t really that important.  Also, they are concerned that national funding on men’s health doesn’t get to the root of the problem, which are

  • Family Court Issues.
  • Child support problems.
  • Family violence order bias.
  • False sex abuse claims.
  • Gender discrimination.

Oh, get stuffed.

Sorry, my ability to comment usefully is rapidly eroding.

Our immigration problems are caused by the family court.  Problems with social welfare are caused by child support payments and the need to avoid paying them by becoming unemployed.  They want more roads and railways, and a national water authority.

I want them to disappear into a sink hole.

Look, I’m sorry. I know this commentary is not my best work.  But the misogyny and selfishness of these folk is palpable.  I feel for parents who have lost custody of their children unfairly.  But I feel more for parents and children who have suffered abuse at the hands of the people who should have protected them.

And for heaven’s sake, if you have a child with someone, you bloody well commit to paying for that child’s upbringing at the best standard that you can afford, regardless of what you think of your ex.  Your child is entitled to your love and to your support, and quitting your job so that you won’t have to pay for their school camp is a dick move.

Eurovision Theme Song as determined by me, very objectively

At best, the NCPP are both selfish and naive.  At worst… well.  Their policies seem positively designed to enable the stalking and abuse of their exes.  Let’s go for the best case scenario, shall we?

Everyone thinks of himself
As if there’s nothing but that.

Douchecanoes.

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