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Wednesday, 25 March 1987
Page: 1510


Mr BLUNT —I seek leave to make a personal explanation.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Drummond) —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?


Mr BLUNT —I do.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —It is customary to come to the Chair--


Mr BLUNT —Mr Deputy Speaker, I apologise. I raised it with your predecessor in the Chair and he indicated that the break between the Appropriation Bills and the notices would be an appropriate time.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —He did not tell me. You may proceed.


Mr BLUNT —Today at Question Time the Minister for Social Security (Mr Howe) raised statements attributed to me and reported on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. At that time I had not heard the ABC report, nor had I had the opportunity to see a transcript. I have subsequently seen a transcript and for that reason I seek leave to make a personal explanation.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —You may proceed.


Mr BLUNT —The ABC suggested in its national news bulletin this morning that the Opposition had condemned the Government's proposals for maintenance reform and child support. That is not accurate. I would like to state, for the benefit of the Parliament, what I did say which was:

When we consider this document in total we see that it is a proposal to move as soon as legislation is available to establish a maintenance collection agency, which is a reform which the Opposition recognises is necessary. We do have some reservations about the proposals-

I went on to say that the Opposition's policy supported the proposals of the government in general terms and I stated the Opposition's policy, which is:

We will amend the Family Law Act to restore the primary obligation of parents to maintain their children, while confirming that support will continue to be provided for families in need. A fair, effective means of determining and enforcing maintenance payments by non-custodial parents for their children will be established and will include provision for collection for payments at income source where appropriate.

I thank the House.