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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2620

To the Honourable the President and mambers of the Senate in Parliament assembled. The petition of the undersigned respectively shows:

(1)   That there are very many responsible citizens concerned about the provisions of the Family Law Bill 1974 and are opposed to it becoming law in its present form.

(2)   That very many are concerned that the provisions of this Bill will change marriage into a voluntary union terminable on the wish of either party. The Bill will allow an innocent spouse to be abandoned on 12 months notice on the wish of the other party, leaving the innocent party to bear his/her own costs. It will be the only contract which can be broken unilaterally with the blessing of the law.

(3)   That we believe the Bill is a direct assault on the stability of the married state and of the family. The direct result of the Bill, if passed by Parliament, will be the diminished stability of society.

(4)   That the inevitable rise in the divorce rate will increase the number of deprived children already causing profound concern and huge expense in our society.

(5)   That there will be more potential criminals in our society as a result of more broken marriages.

(6)   That women may fear to have children lest they be abandoned and left with a young family in very unfavourable economic circumstances. They could be faced with the prospect of lifelong loneliness and hardship. They could fear being abandoned and paid off with a small lump sum.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that the Senate in Parliament assembled should not admit into the law of this land the Family Law Bill in its present form.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by Senator Lawrie.

Petition received.

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