The Centralian advocate Fri 11 Mar 2016
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers
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10 NEWS FRIDAY MARCH 11 2016 CAVE01Z01MA - V1 DIVORCES, financial disputes and family law matters can pose a big challenge at the best of times. But the Northern Territory branch of the Law Society says those affected by such issues in Central Australia face an access to justice barrier. The societys president, Tass Liveris, said there used to be a registry of the family law courts at the Centrepoint building on Hartley St in Alice Springs. In August 2011, the profession was told the registry would be closed temporarily due to a staffing issue but it never reopened, Mr Liveris said. The Law Society NT is calling for a dedicated, properly resourced registry that people can access every day and every standard business hour. We think this is a basic minimum standard the people of Central Australia are entitled to, Mr Liveris said. A large proportion of court business is now done online, and Mr Liveris said he supported that process and it worked well in most instances. What it cant cater for is often self-represented people, people without the skills or access to the internet to manage a case via the web, and there are a lot of people who fall into that category. The registry facility in Alice Springs now shares its premises with the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Mr Liveris said the only time the family registry was open was when the Federal Circuit Court was on circuit, about every three months. Outside of those times there is no registry access in Alice Springs. At the end of it all it costs the public, Mr Liveris said. Long term, there is a strong economic argument that says if you fund these services properly upfront you make cost savings down the track because the system functions better when its adequately resourced. Mr Liveris added the frequency of court sittings in Alice Springs wasnt viewed as a problem but the opening of a dedicated registry would be a major benefit. New registry needed Law Society president Tass Liveris says Alice Springs needs a dedicated registry. Picture: REX NICHOLSON Andrea Johnston We think this is a basic minimum standard the people of Central Australia are entitled to Fracking ban bad for jobs A FORMER federal Labor resources minister has warned his NT Labor colleagues that a moratorium on fracking would harm the Territory economy. In a speech to a gas industry conference on Tuesday, Martin Ferguson described the ban as bad policy. They might as well call it a moratorium on new jobs, he said. Deputy Chief Minister Peter Styles accused Labor of having a reckless policy that would cost jobs and royalties for investment in education. Mr Styles said independent inquiries had found environmental concerns surrounding the process of extracting shale gas could be managed. Mr Ferguson suggests for Michael Gunner ignoring these reports may be politically expedient but its not good policy, he said. After the Labor policy was adopted in February, deputy leader Lynne Walker said Territorians were very concerned about fracking. 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