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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2674

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - I move:

After sub-clause (4) add the following new sub-clauses:-

(5)   Where a court having jursidiction under this Act is of the opinion that counselling may assist the parties to a marriage to improve their relationship to each other and to any child of the marriage, it may advise the parties to attend upon a marriage counsellor or an approved marriage counselling organisation and, if it thinks it desirable to do so, adjourn any proceedings before it to enable the attendance.

(6)   Where it appears from an application for dissolution of a marriage that the parties have been married for less than 2 years preceding the date of filing of the application, the court shall not hear the proceedings unless the court is satisfied that-

(a)   the parties have had an opportunity to consider a reconciliation with the assistance of a marriage counsellor, an approved marriage counselling organisation or some other suitable person or organisation nominated by the Director of Counselling and Welfare; or

(b)   there are special circumstances by reason of which the hearing should proceed.

Senator Durack - May I suggest to the Attorney-General that he postpone his clause because it again seems to me to be bound up- I am sorry, it is the next sub-clause.

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