On 20 November 2018, the Australian Government announced a package of measures to improve women’s economic security – the Women’s Economic Security Package (WESP).
The WESP includes $98.4 million in new funding for family law services and initiatives, to commence in the 2019-2020 financial year. The measures have been announced as specifically supporting women and their families, but should benefit families generally, and include:
- Ongoing funding for the new Family Violence and Cross-examination of Parties Scheme and Domestic Violence Units and Health Justice Partnerships across Australia, with an expansion of these services to include financial advice, counselling and literacy services.
- New funding for family law property mediation services to 65 Family Relationship Centres; and to Legal Aid Commissions for a two year trial of lawyer-assisted mediation for property matters with asset pools of up to $500,000 (excluding debt); and
- New funding for federal family courts to conduct a two year trial of simpler and faster court processes for resolving family law property cases with an asset pool of up to $500,000 net.