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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2680

Senator CHANEY (Western Australia) - It seems to me that the precise form of proposed new clause 14 a(1) is not terribly material. The important point in addressing myself to the question that was raised by Senator Greenwood is that under proposed new clause 14 a (2) it is envisaged that the Director of Counselling and Welfare will be permitted to take positive steps to arrange for counselling. It is only permissible under this clause. The clause provides that the Director of Counselling and Welfare may arrange for the parties to the marriage to be interviewed by a marriage counsellor. I think it is quite reasonable that before you call on an officer of the court, in the person of the Director of Counselling and Welfare, to take some positive step he should have some form of application in hand, some formal request from a party to the marriage that that sort of action should be taken on the parties' behalf.

Senator Greenwood - The use of the expression ' file a notice ' is legalistic.

Senator CHANEY -Yes, but I think the fact that it is legalistic is totally irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that the person seeking assistance will go to the court and he will be given some form which he will have to complete and lodge. That will be an authorisation for the officer of the court to get out and do his job. It is quite different from proposed clause 14 B where facilities are merly being made available. Proposed clause 14 a suggests that the Director of Counselling and Welfare will actually take positive steps at the request of one of the parties.

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