Comment on Scrapping of $20M Counselling Scheme
Posted: 3rd February 2015
Posted in: News
Posted by: Dean Evans, Partner
In news media over the weekend, it was reported that the Australian Government had determined to scrap a Counselling program which offered couples considering separation a $200 Counselling Voucher to explore issues in their relationships, including sex and desire/intimacy educational components. The scheme attracted wide criticism but had been costed so as to provide up to 100,000 units of assistance.
Various criticisms of the scheme have been reported/published.
For our part, we offer the view that parties who want to undertake sex/desire/intimacy education and similar counselling activities might pay for the service and that a better division of the possibly funding might be allocated to children in crisis and domestic violence, with a reasonable share of any available resources being allocated to the Courts who are now struggling to provide the public with services which can cope with the demand for same in the legal system.
People seeking advice are genuinely surprised and shocked on hearing the delays involved in bringing proceedings, including in cases where there might be an expectation of priority but not extreme urgency.
Legal practitioners including all at this firm, would like to see Government focus on culling waiting times and offering “at Court” counselling (for all relationship issues) and mediation services and resources in lieu of establishing any further tiers or structured hierarchy (or extending current services) which clients unfortunately report simply adds to the stress and strain of obtaining outcomes after separation.
Thanks for reading.