Controversial senator Pauline Hanson should be replaced as deputy chair of a national family law inquiry after suggesting women be investigated for lying about domestic violence, campaigner Rosie Batty says.
An advocate for family law reform, Ms Batty on Wednesday launched a five-step plan to make the system safer for women and children and said it was important an upcoming federal inquiry into the sector was not biased.
“I would say that would be a very positive gesture,” she answered, when asked if Senator Hanson should be replaced as deputy chairperson.
More broadly, Ms Batty said that women giving evidence to such an inquiry, should not feel they were addressing a forum amid feelings of “unconscious bias”.
In a controversial move, Senator Hanson was appointed deputy chair of the inquiry when it was announced by the federal government in September.
The One Nation politician has previously said she wants to investigate women who lie about domestic violence in divorces, based on the alleged experience of her son.
“We have a leading politician who has openly stated that women lie and exaggerate in custody issues,” Ms Batty said.
“I would find that incredibly challenging to enter into inquiry, where the person who sat opposite me, listening to my story and my experience, fundamentally doesn’t believe me.”
Days after the inquiry, and Senator Hanson’s role in it, were announced, Ms Batty said the government’s plans were disgusting.
“It is completely unacceptable for us to have another inquiry. We have had multiple inquiries about the failings of the family law court system. I have campaigned also for changes,” Ms Batty told ABC radio.
“There has been a Law Reform Commission inquiry with 60 recommendations presented to the government earlier this year – not one recommendation has been acknowledged or enforced.”
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