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Wednesday, 13 November 1974
Page: 2293

Senator WEBSTER - I present the following petition from 1 44 citizens of Australia:

To the President and Members of the Senate in Parliament assembled: We, the undersigned, wish to express our grave concern at the following aspects of the Family Law Bill, as read in the Senate on 1 August, by the Attorney-General.

After a 12 month separation period, a husband can legally divorce his faithful wife, even if she is pregnant, or has small children.

During the 'separation' period, he can reside in the matrimonial home, even co-habiting there with another woman.

After he had obtained the divorce, the wife must pay her own legal costs.

The bill creates a new kind of marriage, which can be terminated by one of the parties, without the consent of the other.

It removes from the marriage contract, the normal legal safeguards to an injured party, which all other classes of contract provide.

This is obviously unjust. We ask you to delay the passage of the bill, and make public its revised form, so that citizens can make a responsible assessment of it.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.

Petition received.

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