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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2677


Senator EVERETT (Tasmania) - I move:

In proposed Clause 14a delete sub-clause (1) and insert the following:

(   1) a party to a marriage may file in the Family Court a notice stating that he or she intends to seek the assistance of the counselling facilities of the Family Court'.

I simply wish to make these brief observations. Firstly, as the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy) has said, the amendment is in accordance with the general view of the Standing Committee that the counselling services of the Family Court should be available at as early a stage as possible and- this is most important- without necessarily invoking the jurisdiction of the court in respect of any particular proceeding. I think the amendment therefore speaks for itself. It says that a party to a marriage may file in the Family Court a notice stating that he or she intends to seek the assistance of the counselling facilities of the Family Court.

The second point I make is that the Committee considered that amendment was desirable in order to increase the constitutional strength of the power contained in the proposed new clause 14a- in other words, that the availability of the counselling facilities should be pursuant to a formal filing of a document invoking those facilities in the Family Court. Since the amendment will be accepted, I do not think it is necessary to labour the point any further.


Senator Murphy - There is a similar provision in proposed clause 14B (2).







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