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Thursday, 30 June 1994
Page: 2361

To the Honourable the President and Members of the Senate in Parliament assembled:

  The petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia draws to the attention of the Senate the need for changes to the Family Law Act of Australia and to the child support scheme.

  Your petitioners therefore request that the Senate support the following changes.

(1)That the existing Family Law Act be scrapped and replaced by a more simplified version together with the minimum of rules and regulations necessary.

(2)That the Family Court be replaced by a Tribunal and that all matters resulting from divorce and family breakdown be heard before, and determined by a panel; the panel to be made up of persons qualified in matters arising from family breakdown.

(3)That legal professionals be barred from appearing before the Tribunal resulting in vast savings to the disputing parties.

(4)That a modified fault clause be re-introduced to Family Law primarily designed to discourage adultery and to stop rewarding adulterers at the expense of deserted and innocent parties.

(5)That the Child Support Agency be scrapped and replaced by an appropriate administrative procedure within the Tribunal.

(6)That apart from cases of exceptional circumstances parental-child access become the inalienable right of all parents.

(7)That alternative counselling, (Government funded) be made available through the Churches and that much more emphasis be placed on mediation in resolving disputes prior to the commencement of legal proceedings.