Coalition of Celebrant Associations

Australia’s Peak Celebrant Body

Charging a Marriage Licence fee of all marrying couples

5. Funding the regulatory support for all religious and civil marriage services by a Marriage Licence Fee on all marrying couples (via stamp purchased through Australia Post) or charging all authorised marriage celebrants an annual regulation fee  to provide regulatory support for all both religious and civil marriage services.

Under the Marriage Act 1961

  • Only 30% of authorised Marriage Celebrants (i.e. Commonwealth Subdivision C and D celebrants) are required to have:
    • pre-appointment training in marriage law
    • continuing professional development in marriage law
    • a Code of Practice
    • pay an annual registration fee to cover the cost of their ongoing regulation.

      This fee is paid to the Commonwealth Marriage Law and Celebrant Section of the Attorney-General's Department.

  • 70% of all authorized marriage celebrants, who are religious marriage celebrants, are not required by the Act to have
    • pre-training in marriage law
    • continuing professional development in marriage law
    • nor pay an annual fee for regulation.

This means that the State and Territory Offices of Births Deaths and Marriages receive no income to provide a regulatory supervision of their own State Officers nor of the 23,000 Ministers of Recognised Religions.

If a fee was collected per authorised marriage celebrant as is the case.

CoCA argued that the introduction of this fee (approx. $2 million pa) on only Commonwealth authorised marriage celebrants was:

However Australian society is more complex than half a century ago and as marriage is still an imporant relationship for supporting families, more education of marriage law and marriage in general would be advantageous for all authorised marriage celebrants.

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