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Thursday, 2 December 1971
Page: 4106

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister repre senting the Attorney-General, upon notice:

(1)   Which religious bodies or organisations have applied for the Governor-General to declare them to be recognised denominations forthe purposes of the Marriage Act.

(2)   Which of them has the Governor-General (a) declared, (b) refused to declare and (c) not yet declared to be recognised denominations.

(3)   How many persons have requested the present or any former Attorney-General to review (a) the refusal by a Registrar of Ministers of Religion to register them or (b) a Registrar's removal of their names from the register.

(4)   In how many cases (a) has the AttorneyGeneral confirmed the refusal or removal, (b) has the Attorney-General directed thatthe persons be registered or restored to the register and (c) is the Attorney-General still considering the matter.

(5)   What methods of appeal are available to persons aggrieved by decisions of (a) the GovernorGeneral and (b) the Attorney-General.

Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The AttorneyGeneral has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   and (2) Prior to the coming into operation of the Commonwealth Marriage Act on 1st September 1983, the Commonwealth took steps to have declared under section 26 of that Act 51 religious denominations established in Australia, the ministers of which had had authority under State laws to solemnise marriages. In accordance with (his action, on 24th May 1963, the GovernorGeneral declared by Proclamation the following religious bodies to be recognised denominations for the purposes of the Act -

The Aborigines Inland Mission of Austrafia

The Apostolic Church (Australia)

The Apostolic Church of Queensland

The Armenian Apostolic Church in Australia

Assemblies of God in Australia

Australian Christadelphian Ecclesia

The Baptist Union of Australia

Christian Brethren

The Christian Church

Christian Israelite Church

Christian Revival Crusade

Church of England in Australia

The Church of Jesus Christ of l.atler-Day Saints

Church of the Nazarene

Churches of Christ in Australia

Congregational Union of Australia

The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia

Full Gospel Church (Gospel Light Ministry)

Gospel Lighthouse Churches

International Church of the Four Square Gospel (Australasia)

Jehova's Witnesses


The Liberal Catholic Church

Lutheran -

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia, Incorporated

German Evangelical Lutheran Church

The Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Victoria

The United Evangelical Lutheran Church in Australia

The Methodist Church of Australasia

The New Apostolic Church (Australia)

The New Church in Australia

Orthodox -

Anlioch Orthodox Church

Byelorussian Autocephalic Orthodox Church in Australia and Abroad

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand

Macedonian Orthodox Autocephalous Church

Macedonian-Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church

Russian Orthodox Church (Abroad) in Exile, in Australia and New Zealand

The Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia and New Zealand

Ukrainian Aulocephalic Orthodox Church in Australia and New Zealand

The Presbyterian Church of Australia

Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia

The Reformed Churches of Australia

The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland

The Religious Society of Friends

The Reorganised Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Roman Catholic Church

The Salvation Army

Seventh-day Adventist Church

The Strict and Particular Baptist Churches of Australia


The Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Connexion in Victoria

The Wesleyan Methodist Church, Australia

Since 1963 an additional 4 bodies have sought recognition. Two, the Free Serbian Orthodox Church, Diocese for Australia and New Zealand, and the Brethren, have been declared under section 26. The Church of Scientology has been refused recognition. The Autocephalic Greek Orthodox Church of America and Australia has sought to be declared, but has ho rar been refused recognition pending satisfaction with respect to its long-term stability.

(3)   and (4) There havebeen extremely few cases in which the Attorney-General has heen requested to review a decision of the Registrar. However, the precise figures sought by the honourable member are nol readily available, andI am reluctant to authorise the time and expense which would be involved in obtaining them. If the honourable member wishes to have information in regard to a specific case thenI will endeavour to see if it can be provided.

(5)   (a) Section 26 of the Marriage Act empowers the Governor-General to declare a religious body or a religious organisation to be a recognised denomination for the purposes of the Act. The power is a discretionary one and there is no provision for an appeal from a decision by the Governor-General nol to declare a particular body or organisation.

(b)   There is no provision for an appeal frora a decision of lbc Attorney-General on a review, under section 34, of a refusal by a Registrar to register a person or a removal by a Registrar of a person's name from a register of ministers of religion kept pursuant to section 27 (4.) of the Act.

Army: Acquisition of Property at Puckapunyal (Question No. 4703)

Mr Kennedy asked the Minister for the

Army, upon notice:

What stage has been reached in negotiations to acquire additional property adjacent to Puckapunyal. Victoria.

Mr Peacock - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The present position is that the proposals are still at the investigation stage and no firm decisions have yet been taken. Every effort is being made to bring the matter to finality as soon as practicable but it must be remembered that a number of private landowners and governmental authorities are involved.

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