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Thursday, 15 December 1983
Page: 3825

To the Honourable the President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled:

We the undersigned citizens of Australia Concerned about the high and increasing rate of divorce and family breakdown, Convinced that the Family Law Act has weakened marriage by making divorce a trivial matter, the present Act paying scant regard to its own definition of marriage as a life-long union; and Believing that the legal bond of marriage should be strengthened.

Humbly petition for the Family Law Act and the Marriage Act to be amended in order to

1. Reject any moves towards divorce by post

2. Restore the former prohibition of marriages between close relatives by blood or marriage

3. Protect the rights and welfare of aggrieved partners of a marriage who are threatened with being divorced against their will

4. Ensure that in divorce judgments paramount attention be given to whatever course will best serve the welfare of dependent children of the marriage

5. Encourage counselling towards reconciliation

6. Restore objective tests to irretrievable breakdown of marriage in terms of: i. intolerable behaviour; ii. desertion for two years; iii. separation for three years.

And we pray that you may be conscious of God's sovereign purpose for our nation.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.