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Tuesday, 7 December 1976
Page: 3435

Mr Jacobi (HAWKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) asked the Attorney-General, upon notice:

Does the Government propose to introduce legislation to rationalise the old maintenance and married women's property legislation in force in the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, and to consolidate it in the Family Law An.

Mr Ellicott - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Following the High Court's decision in Russell v. Russell on the Family Law Act, the Standing Committee of Commonwealth and State Attorneys-General considered the question of uniform State and Territory legislation in the areas of matrimonial property and also maintenance and custody of children to the extent not covered by the Family Law Act.

The proposal for uniform matrimonial property legislation was referred to the Queensland Law Reform Commission for a report, and that uniform legislation on maintenance and custody of children outside the Family Law Act was referred to the Family Law Council, which has now been established and is due to hold its first meeting later this month.

A review is being undertaken of the Maintenance Ordinance of the A.C.T. to see what portions should be repealed as having been superseded by the Family Law Act, and what amendments have to be made to give the Family Court of Australia jurisdiction under the remaining provisions. However, it may be desirable to defer any amendments to this Ordinance, and any substantive amendments to the Married Women 's Property Legislation of the ACT, pending the receipt of the reports referred to above.

A review of the corresponding legislation in the Northern Territory will be undertaken and any necessary amendments will be prepared in consultation with the appropriate Executive Member of the Legislative Assembly.

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