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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26502

Senator GREIG (1:56 PM) —I move Democrat amendment (1) on sheet 4399:

(1) Schedule 3, item 2, page 3 (line 17), at the end of the definition of close family member, add:

; or (f) cousin, uncle or aunt of the person.

This amendment seeks to respond to concerns of the Australian Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy Network, which argued in its submission to the committee that family is very important in almost all Arabic and Islamic cultures, and in particular the extended family bonds of cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. It is not uncommon for several generations of families to be living in the same household, or for a group of related families to live in the same street. It is not unusual, for example, for cousins and uncles to meet each other on a daily basis to share their experiences and problems. We Democrats do not believe that the Muslim community should be penalised for spending time with their extended families. Accordingly, we are seeking to insert an additional paragraph into the definition of `close family member' to ensure that it covers uncles, aunts and cousins.