In the Media – Dreyfus joins push for free birth certificates

Dreyfus joins push for free birth certificates

Posted     4 hours 28 minutes ago

A push for governments to issue free birth certificates has won the support of Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus.

An estimated 15,000 children born in Australia every year do not receive birth certificates, and about one-third are Indigenous.

Not having a birth certificate prevents people from doing things like registering to vote, gaining a driver’s licence or applying for a passport.

Mr Dreyfus will raise the matter at a meeting with his state and territory counterparts in Darwin today.

He says he will lobby his colleagues to reconsider the fees charged for issuing the documents.

“I’m going to be urging them to have a look at the pricing,” he said.

“At the moment there is only one state where you can get a waiver, New South Wales.

“I’m keen for the other states and territories to make birth certificates free or much more affordable than they are now.

“I think that birth certificates should be able to be obtained more cheaply, because in many cases getting that birth certificate is a very important thing.”

Students from the University of New England and the Community Mutual Group recently raised concerns over birth certificates when their financial literacy program in New South Wales could not create bank accounts for Aboriginal children because they did not have proper identification.

The group’s Will Winter says having proper ID is essential.

“It’s difficult to get into school, it’s difficult to get a licence, it’s difficult to get a bank account,” he said.


0 thoughts on “In the Media – Dreyfus joins push for free birth certificates

  1. Why is this a story? I looked it up. They cost $28.00 about the same here in the states.
    If you can’t come up with $28.00 to get your birth certificate, how are you going to be able to afford a car, gas or insurance.

  2. Hi Erica, thank you for your questions and comment.

    Here in Australia Identity and in particular Aboriginal and Islander (including the Torres Straits) Identity is a very sensitive and contentious issue.

    What you have described in your post above is a very common thought process for many here also.

    Our First Nations people do not necessarily have access to basic human rights and services, health needs remain unmet, life expectancy is still well below the average of that of mainstream Australians (20 year below) food and basic necessities for life are not something that can be taken for granted let alone material items such as cars, access to utilities like gas and electricity or petrol or luxuries of insurance.

    Our History is littered with inequalities and maltreatment for our First Nations peoples and something that may appear as simple as a birth certificate or what may seem like a small amount of money still remains out of reach and a barrier to accessing basic necessities for the majority.As mentioned in the article above without a Birth Certificate it is difficult to get into school, it is difficult to get a licence and it is difficult to get a bank account.

    Australia is espoused as ‘The Lucky Country’ and for many non-Aboriginal people it may be just that but the reality for our First Nations people is that of 3rd world countries and they continue to endure this appalling treatment across the nation.

    We invite you to read through our blog further if you would like to gain a deeper understanding of the issues we currently face as Aboriginal and Islander peoples here in Australia.

    Once again, thank you for taking the time to read one of our posts and also for sharing your views with us and our readers.

    Yours in Unity through Lateral Love & Spirit of Care for all Humankind,

    Brian, Nicci & the Lateral Love Team

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