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Wednesday, 8 November 2000
Page: 19358

Senator BOLKUS (10:21 AM) —I move opposition amendment (3) on sheet 2012:

(3) Schedule 2, item 10, page 40 (line 27), after "aside", insert "or varying".

Amendment (3) introduces an explicit power for a court to vary an agreement in the event that any of the grounds on which the court may set aside an agreement are made out. The bill currently allows a court only to set the whole agreement aside. We have concerns about that. In our view, this approach is not sufficiently sensitive to the circumstances in which an application challenging the validity of a binding financial agreement might be brought. The current approach, which compels a court to choose between letting the entire agreement stand or letting the entire agreement fall, may in our minds result in injustice where all that is required is for the agreement to be varied in some small way. For us it makes sense to include a provision allowing for variations so that justice can be tailored according to the circumstances of the case. This is the same principle as in the previous two amendments. We urge the chamber to support amendment No. 3.