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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2655

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - It seems to me the answer to the question is that if someone contended that such a proceeding were covered by this Bill and could not be dealt with otherwise than under this Bill that matter could be raised and determined. Perhaps I should clear up some of the difficulties which Senator Greenwood has raised. He asked whether this was a threshold question. I suppose it does not matter whether it is a threshold question. If it is a question of jurisdiction it could be dealt with and, if necessary, taken to a High Court if in some of these marginal areas about which he speaks some difficulties arise. The honourable senator raises this issue but it should be well understood by the Senate that such an issue could be raised in respect of a host of other matters which have nothing to do with this enactment.

It is true that the honourable senator does not complain about the matter. It cannot be a cause of complaint that someone may raise the issue of whether matters are to be dealt with in a family court or elsewhere. Here we are taking the bold step of moving family matters- matrimonial causes- into the family court. If someone says: 'I contend that this is a family court matter, ' I suppose it is the same as in any other area, such as in relation to industrial matters which would be taken in the industrial court and not elsewhere. But some question could arise and it would be decided and perhaps thereby an end would be put to some of the contentions which have been raised. I see, as the honourable senator puts it, that someone could raise a question. Of course he could. But it could then be decided.

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