Courts' administrative entities to merge

Under new cost saving measures passed in parliament yesterday, the administrative functions of three courts will merge.

Attorney-general senator George Brandis has announced the coalition government will merge the services of the Federal Court of Australia with those of the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia into a single administrative entity.

The amendments, passed yesterday, will make the courts more efficient and mean that courts can direct funds away from administrative functions, according to a statement released yesterday.

The government estimates the changes would save $9.4m over six years to 2020 and $5.4m annually after that time, with the savings to be reinvested in the courts. 

The government has announced two other measures to help restore the financial sustainability of the courts: an additional $22.5m over four years from 2015-16 and $30m in funding for critical maintenance works for court buildings.

The changes will be implemented from 1 July.

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