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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Mediators handle more than 52,000 disputes in 25 years

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

    Mediators handle more than 52,000 disputes in 25 years

    Mediators have helped about 160,000 Queenslanders to manage their disputes in the past 25 years, saving the community time and money.

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath today congratulated the Dispute Resolution Branch on the significant quarter-century milestone and its mediators for assisting people with more than 52,000 disputes during that time.

    “People may come into conflict at some point with neighbours, workmates or family members for a wide range of reasons,” Mrs D’Ath said.

    “Dispute Resolution Branch mediators provide a free, accessible and timely means for members of the community to resolve their conflicts.

    “In 1990, it commenced as the Community Justice Program to help address disputes between neighbours and 36 mediators managed 204 civil disputes.

    “In 2015, it has seven offices in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Hervey Bay, Southport and Brisbane and is supported by panels of mediators in Toowoomba, Gympie, Bundaberg, Emerald, and on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.”

    Mrs D’Ath said over the 25 years, mediators had consistently and successfully maintained agreement rates of between 80 and 90 per cent between the parties in community mediations.

    “Mediators perform a vital role in the early intervention of conflict management in our community and also help with disputes within the formal legal system in a bid to avoid the need for time consuming and costly legal processes,” she said.

    “In 2014-15, 160 mediators conducted a total of 3,061 dispute resolution processes – 2,324 civil disputes, 229 criminal matters and 508 court-ordered child protection conferences.

    “I want to thank our hard-working mediators for their dedication to providing this valuable service in their communities.”

    Mrs D’Ath said the branch had a strong commitment to remote Indigenous communities, evident through its restorative justice projects in northern Queensland.

    “The Mornington Island Restorative Justice Project has worked with that community over the last seven years to develop and deliver a community-based peacemaking service to respond to community conflict and divert people from the criminal justice system,” she said.

    “The success of this ground-breaking work has resulted in the development of a similar project in far north Queensland.”

    For more information on dispute resolution and mediation go to www.qld.gov.au/law/legal-mediation-and-justice-of-the-peace/setting-disputes-out-of-court.

    Media contact: 3719 7415