An annual fee will not deter people becoming celebrants even at $600. Naively people would think - ”that’s only one wedding” in the same way they will think about advertising costs when starting as a celebrant.
But an annual fee may
- force out lots of competent celebrants, who do not have private wealth or other income at around the 5 year mark,
- mean a constant flow of new inexperienced celebrants coming in.
The net effect of that on the sector is a backward one.
The government has no evidence to support the assumption that the majority of civil celebrants can earn a sustainable full-time weekly wage equivalent from wedding work alone.
National Average Rate under Needs Based system:
1995 = 64 weddings per celebrant pa;
1999 = 35 weddings per celebrant pa;
Under “open market”
2011 = 6.6 weddings per celebrant pa;
Under “Professional Celebrant Fee:
Loss of 10% of celebrants only raises no of weddings per celebrant to 8
Loss of 30% of celebrants only raises no of weddings per celebrant to 10.2
To make a full-time weekly wage equivalent from wedding work alone, a civil celebrant would need to average 100 weddings pa.
With 72,000 weddings pa nationally that means 720 celebrants in total and the consequent need for the government to remove:
- 93% of the current 10,300 civil celebrants now appointed.
- 50% of civil marriage celebrants every year to maintain this number as 700+ new celebrants are appointed each year.
An average of one wedding per fortnight per celebrant = 24 pa
It takes 3 to 5 years to get established in a community. So under the current ’unlimited’ numbers approach, the chances are that many celebrants will decide at around 5 years, that the time and money they put in, cannot be justified despite their work satisfaction. This will affect especially those celebrants who do not have private wealth or who need a full-time wage for their family to survive. This has nothing to do with their competency as a celebrant.
If one has to work full-time at another job plus prepare, rehearse and deliver weddings, there is little time to think, research and practice new approaches – a negative for the continuing development of a professional. The net effect of all this is a backward step for marriage celebrancy.
The MLCS state that they are receiving 50-80 applications presently per month. So the intake is still above retirement/de-registration rates.
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