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New law toughens family court protection

AAP logoAAP 8/12/2016

The government plans to change the law to allow police to immediately charge someone who breaches a Federal Family Court personal protection injunction.

Previously the victim was required to make an application to the court.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says this new offence sends a clear message that family violence is not a private matter - it is criminal.

He said the changes will also relieve victims from the cost of taking family law proceedings to enforce an injunction.

Offenders who breach personal protection injunctions will now face a penalty of up to two years jail or a fine exceeding $20,000 or both.

The new offence is contained in an exposure draft of legislative amendments to the Family Law Act 1975, which the government is releasing on Friday in conjunction with the meeting of the Council of Australian Government in Canberra.

"The Turnbull government is committed to ongoing improvements to the family law system and providing the best possible outcomes for families, particularly children," he said in a statement.

"The proposed amendments are the next step for the Turnbull government in responding to family violence."

National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

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