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The Senate, according to Order, resolved itself into Committee for the further consideration of the Bill.

In the Committee

Consideration resumed of Clause 17, as amended, and of the amendment moved thereto by Senator Lewis, viz: Page 13, paragraph (c), line 10, leave out '', whether before or after the commencement of section 17 of the Family Law Amendment Act 1983''.

Question-That the words proposed to be left out be left out-put and negatived.

On the motion of the Attorney-General (Senator Gareth Evans) the following amendments were, by leave, taken together and agreed to: Page 13, paragraph (b), line 8, leave out ''sub-section (3)'', insert ''sub-sections (3) and (3A)''.

Page 13, paragraph (c), after proposed sub-section 44 (3), insert the following new sub-section: '' '(3A) Notwithstanding sub-section (3), where, whether before or after the commencement of section 17 of the Family Law Amendment Act 1983- (a) a decree nisi of dissolution of marriage has become absolute or a decree of nullity of marriage has been made; and

(b) the approval under section 87 of a maintenance agreement between the parties to the marriage has been revoked,

proceedings of a kind referred to in paragraph (c) or (ca) of the definition of 'matrimonial cause' in sub-section 4 (1) (not being proceedings under section 78 or 79A or proceedings seeking the discharge, suspension, revival or variation of an order previously made in proceedings with respect to the maintenance of a party) may be instituted- (c) within the period of 12 months after- (i) the date on which the decree nisi became absolute or the date of the making of the decree of nullity, as the case may be; or

(ii) the date on which the approval of the maintenance agreement was revoked,

whichever is the later; or

(d) with the leave of the court in which the proceedings are to be instituted,

and not otherwise.'.''.

On the motion of Senator Gareth Evans the following further amendment was agreed to: Page 13, at end of clause, add the following word and paragraph: ''; and (d) by inserting in sub-section (4) 'or (3A)' after '(3)'.''.

Clause 17, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 18 and 19, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 20 read-

Senator Harradine moved an amendment, viz: Page 14, at end of clause, add the following word and paragraph: ''and (d) by adding at the end thereof the following sub-sections: '(4) Subject to this section, proceedings for dissolution of a marriage shall not be instituted within three years after the date of the marriage except by leave of the Court.

'(5) The Court shall grant leave under this section where refusal to grant that leave would impose severe hardship on the applicant.

'(6) In determining an application for leave to institute proceedings under this section, the Court shall have regard to the interests of any children of the marriage and to the question of whether there is any reasonable likelihood of a reconciliation between the parties before the expiration of a period of three years after the date of the marriage.'.''.

Debate ensued.

Ordered-That the Chairman of Committees (Senator Hamer) report progress and ask leave to sit again.

The Acting Deputy-President (Senator Elstob) resumed the Chair; and Senator Hamer reported that the Committee had considered the Bill, made progress, and asked leave to sit again.

Ordered-That the Committee have leave to sit again at a later hour of the day.