Sweeping changes to the Australian Child Support Scheme were introduced between 2006 and 2008, featuring a dramatically different system for the calculation of child support. In March 2014, the then Minister for Social Services, the Hon Kevin Andrews MP, asked the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social and Legal Affairs to inquire into and report on the Child Support Program.
Earlier this year, ADSRI (now School of Demography) researchers, Bruce Smyth and Bryan Rodgers, made a formal submission to the Inquiry, and were subsequently invited to provide oral evidence to the Committee. Both submissions drew on key findings from the ANU Child Support Reform Study – a large Australian Research Council Linkage Project conducted between 2009 and 2014, which examined the impacts of the child support changes.
The Committee tabled its report on 20 July 2015. The ADSRI research is drawn on heavily in that report – pointing to the value of independent academic research, and the critical role that it can play in the development of evidence-based policy.
The Parliamentary Inquiry Report is available online.