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Thursday, 14 November 1974
Page: 2364

Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I present the following petition from 23 citizens of the Commonwealth:

To the honourable the President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled. We, the undersigned citizens of the Commonwealth, by this our humble petition respectfully showeth:

(a)   That the inclusion in sub-section 54(2) of the Family Law Bill of the clause recommended in paragraph 67(f) (2) of the report of the Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs, which will allow 'any fact or circumstance ' to be taken into account when considering maintenance, completely alters the whole concept of specific guidelines, as now set out in section 54, and we oppose it.

(b)   That the removal of the word 'exceptional' in subsection 92(2) of the new Family Law Bill, will result in a high level of bitter and costly litigation in ancillary matters, which the present proposed sharing of costs, with legal aid available, would otherwise minimise.

(c)   That judicial discretion which allows fault in property settlement and the usual false accusations necessitating defence in custody and access matters, as well as (a) and (b) above, will result in very much the same litigation in ancillary matters as under the present iniquitous Matrimonial Causes Act.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.

Petition received.

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