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Wednesday, 19 October 1983
Page: 1969

Mr LIONEL BOWEN (Minister for Trade)(7.35) —In fairness to the honourable member for Dundas (Mr Ruddock) I say that the time for his amendment has not yet come. The Joint Select Committee on the Family Law Act obviously wanted to see it implemented but I am told that there are logistical problems. I do not know exactly what that means, but the Attorney-General (Senator Gareth Evans), I think, will try seriously to do something about it. I also understand that there is the view that financial circumstances can vary from time to time. I think the real issue-I know the honourable member has views about this, and the Family Law Council has expressed views on it-

Mr Ruddock —The reviewers of the review.

Mr LIONEL BOWEN —Yes. The Chief Judge of the Family Court of Australia favours a system which would encourage judges to build in a discretionary standard for adjustment as part of a maintenance order for a limited period of, say, three years. Everybody has this matter in mind. The question is how to do it. I agree with the honourable member that it should be able to be done. We will give it the most serious consideration. I will discuss the matter with the Attorney- General.

Amendment negatived.

Clause 35 (Matters to be taken into consideration with respect to maintenance).