I attended the meeting between the Marriage Law & Celebrant Section of the Attorney-General’s Department and celebrant associations and networks last Tuesday. It’s taken me much longer to write a report for you all than I would usually like, mostly because, well, it was pretty boring. Usually these meetings are face to face and last for about five hours. This one was via teleconference and lasted for one hour and a handful of minutes. So there was much less scope for discussion! Here’s a rundown of what was discussed and what it means for us as celebrants…

COVID-19 impacts on celebrants

MLCS is absolutely aware of how much of an impact COVID-19 is having on celebrants, and they appreciate that many celebrants have lost business during this time. It is also having a huge impact on them as a department. As is quite common in governments at times of crisis, a number of MLCS staff have been seconded to other departments to assist with the response, making MLCS remarkably short-staffed. This, plus most of them working from home, is why the MLCS phone line has been shut down (you can call it but the message says don’t leave us a message, we won’t get it, email us instead), and why it’s taking them a bit longer to respond to queries than normal. They have requested that celebrants only put URGENT in the subject line of emails if the issue really is urgent, as in if it relates to a wedding coming up in the next few days. Please don’t put urgent on an email that is about a request for your annual fee to be waived or similar.


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