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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2636

Senator MISSEN (Victoria) - I could not be more opposed, to the expressions which have been made by the 2 previous speakers, Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson and Senator Carrick, on this amendment. I do not believe that the

Bill, in its initial form, would justify the title Marriage Dissolution Act'. I certainly do not agree that the amendments which I am sure we will make to this Bill will leave the slightest resemblance to that name. There is some confusion on the part of those who are supporting this amendment. If the Bill was called the 'Family Life Bill' they might have a point. The Bill certainly does not cover all aspects of family life; it deals with the aspects of law. The other night Senator Greenwood read the Liberal Party's Platform proposals on this matter. The Platform makes the point that when marriages break down somewhere law must intervene.

I think honourable senators will find that it is what is known as 'family law' when studied in universities. It is true that a big part of that type of law course considers the various dissolution proceedings. But in no way is that the complete essence of this Bill or is it a fact that it is incorrect to call the Bill the Family Law Bill. Family law covers the areas where the law has to intervene. Anyone who reads the Bill and the report of the Committee will see that the intention is not the cynical intention which has been ascribed to this Bill but in fact it is an intention to buttress marriage and. where it has broken down, to deal with dissolution. To suggest that we in this Committee should not be looking primarily at strengthening the Bill and making it more of a buttressing Bill rather than just a dissolution Bill and thereby at the beginning giving it a name and confining it to mere dissolution, is a cynical suggestion and not one on the basis of which I will approach this Committee. I trust that this cynical amendment will be thrown out, because we need to look at this matter in a positive way. We have passed the second reading stage and we are now dealing with making it the best Bill possible. I oppose the amendment.

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