Marriage celebrants could be slugged with $600 fee

MARRIAGE celebrants could soon face a $600 registration fee, raising up to $6.3 million for the Commonwealth, under the Abbott government's red tape repeal legislation.

Legislation expected to be debated during Prime Minister Tony Abbott's repeal day in parliament on Wednesday proposes the new fee.

While the change was originally proposed by the previous Labor Government, it did not make it to the Senate before the election of the Coalition Government.'

The "cost recovery arrangement" for regulating marriage celebrants was first expected to start in July last year, but under the new laws will start come this July.

That change also comes with a massive rise in marriage conducted with a celebrant, rather than a religious minister, increasing from just 2% of all ceremonies in 1973 to 71% in the most recent statistics.

It will also rise every year once it is passed by the Senate, in line with inflation.

Some 10,500 existing marriage celebrants would be expected to pay the charge, raking in some $6.3 million for the Federal Government.