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A message from the House of Representatives was reported transmitting for the concurrence of the Senate the following bill:

 Message no. 381, dated 20 March 2012—A Bill for an Act to validate certain orders etc. under the Family Law Act 1975 and to amend that Act, and for related purposes.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence (Senator Feeney) moved—That this bill may proceed without formalities and be now read a first time.

Question put and passed.

Bill read a first time.

Senator Feeney moved—That this bill be now read a second time.

Debate ensued.

Senator Brandis moved the following amendment:

 At the end of the motion, add "but the Senate notes and condemns the incompetence of the Government in:

  (a) failing for almost 3 years to proclaim the relevant provisions of the Family Law Amendment (De Facto Financial Matters and Other Measures) Act 2008, thereby needlessly permitting invalid orders to be made by the federal family courts and throwing the financial affairs of thousands of Australians into confusion;

  (b) failing to act promptly to correct the problem after it was first brought to its attention; and

  (c) failing to immediately bring remedial legislation before this Parliament".

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put and negatived.

Main question put and passed.

Bill read a second time.

No amendments to the bill were circulated and no senator required that it be considered in committee.

Senator Feeney moved—That this bill be now read a third time.

Debate ensued.

Question put and passed.

Bill read a third time.