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Wednesday, 27 November 1974
Page: 2873

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - I am going to vote against this amendment but I will not seek to divide the Committee. I think it is wrong. I believe there ought to be a certain consistency. When people turn 18 they are adults, not children. I do not believe that this law should provide for orders for maintenance of an adult. If we are to do that we might as well extend the law and provide for the maintenance of adult brothers, or fathers or other adult relatives. Provision for such circumstances, and children who go through university or undertake other training and so forth will need it, should be made in other areas of the law. I think it is quite absurd to use the family law in this regard, particularly that aspect of it directed to maintenance of children, to deal with the position of an adult who happens to need maintenance while undergoing education or some kind of training. I think this represents a twisting and a distortion of the maintenance law. It is quite wrong to do this. I saw what the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee said. There are pressures here tonight which impel me because I want to see the Bill go through. I do not want to see it delayed unduly. I know that a great number of people are going to be affected by it. These pressures probably will affect my attitude not only in regard to this amendment but perhaps in regard to some other clauses. Rather than prolong the debate on this matter and perhaps lose the Bill in a practical sense for this year, and perhaps for a long time, I do not propose to debate the matter further. I indicate that I think this amendment is not in the spirit of what we ought to be providing in respect of maintenance of children.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 56.

Where, in proceedings with respect to the maintenance of a party to a marriage or a child of a marriage, it appears to the court that the party or child is in immediate need of financial assistance, but it is not practicable in the circumstances to determine immediately what order, if any, should be made, the court may order the payment, pending the disposal ofthe proceedings, of such periodic sum as the court considers reasonable.

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