REGISTRAR OF MARRIAGES – TENDERS AND CONTRACTS – FUNDING
What is happening? What should be happening?
REGISTRAR OF MARRIAGES
There should not be a Registrar of Marriages. That such excessive power is given to a Public Servant militates against democracy, and transfers responsibility from the elected representative to an unelected bureaucrat – most of whose decisions cannot be appealed against.
Section 39 of the Act, listing all the powers of the Registrar, is an obscene intrusion from the Downgrading of 2003.
Other more important responsibilities of the Attorney-General are not under the control of a “Registrar”.
To have a “Registrar”, written into law, lets the elected Attorney-General off the hook – so he can wipe his hands and go out to dinner. (“Someone else’s problem”)
What should happen – Section 39 should be returned to what it was before the Downgrading. Appointments of public servants should be by internal arrangement of the department and should not have any force in law. The Attorney-General should take responsibility foo his portfolio.
Celebrants, especially those who have experience and a good track record in ceremonies, and with years of experience, should be consulted and involved in decisions.
Sometimes, offensively, after the main decisions are made the Registrar consults some celebrants about fringe and minor decisions thus pretending to consult. Pretending to consult is an offence against the public service Code of Conduct and should be punished.
TENDERS AND CONTRACTS
– These are all given to Canprint without consideration of anyone else e.g. printing of marriage certificates – no one else can quote – no one else can tender.
What should happen -Tenders and contracts and retail rights should be offered to all reputable contractors.
Funding is never given to celebrants but excessive funding e.g. goes to Relationship Educators and Counsellors. Some time ago celebrants in Australia recently received a box of DVDs on Relationship Education which were not up to standard – we received them without briefing – without explanation.  They will simply be thrown out by most celebrants. 
What should happen – Funding should be given to celebrants on a careful basis. For example, of the millions of dollars spent preventing our high rate of Youth Suicide, celebrants should have been given a fee per adolescence ceremony aimed at strengthening the bonds between the disconnected teenager and their family, friends and community – expressing love, support and encouragement. Funding should go to celebrants to develop community ceremonies which strengthen bonds within the community, express, rein force and transmit the best of society’s values, and which help form a culture.