More than 1,000 people have been banned from international travel after failing to meet child support payment requirements.
The Minister for Human Services, Michael Keenan made the announcement today, describing the travel bans as part of the government’s crackdown on people not paying child support.
“Paying child support is not a choice, it is a moral and legal obligation,” Keenan said.
“Those who shirk their responsibilities are literally depriving their children of a better life and we make no apologies for using these tough measures to make them pay up.
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“The government’s message to parents is simple, if you can afford an overseas holiday, then you can afford to support your children. That should be your first priority, not jetting off for a break in a foreign country.”
He said 1,067 people had received a Departure Prohibition Order in the first half of this financial year, nearly 50 per cent more than the same period last year.
Continuing, he said the crackdown had brought in more than $15 billion in the second half of last year, $2.5 million more than the entire amount recouped during the entire 2017-18 financial year.
He pointed to a case seen late last year in which a parent agreed to make a payment of $185,000 after they were hit with a travel ban, having ignored all previous attempts by the Department of Human Services to make child support payments.
But that pales in comparison to the $350,000 payment made by a parent in 2017 who was also stopped at an Australian airport.
“What these examples demonstrate is that many parents have the means to pay, but are deliberately dodging their obligation to support their kids,” Keenan said.
According to the AAP, parents in New South Wales have been hit with the most travel bans, followed by Queensland and Victoria.
Here are the number of child support travel bans by state from July to December 2018.
Overseas residents: 114
TAS: less than 10
ACT: less than 10
– With AAP.
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