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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2656

Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria) - I ask again whether it is a reasonable assumption that an assault complaint or information lodged by a wife against a husband is a matrimonial cause within the meaning of the definition of matrimonial cause' in clause 4? What will be the court in which proceedings are to be taken for such a matrimonial cause if, for example, the parties reside in a country centre where there is no available supreme court, where there is not likely to be a Commonwealth family court and where a State family court may not be constituted. Where is the action to be instituted?

Senator Murphy - I am sorry, I was a little distracted. Could the honourable senator repeat his final sentence?

Senator GREENWOOD - I have the apprehension that this Bill sets up a court. It was the argument on the last provision that there will be a court, be it a Commonwealth family court or a State family court, which will contain within its scope the means of dealing with all these matrimonial causes. If an assault matter is a matrimonial cause as denned and if it occurs in a country area away from the centres of population where one can appear fairly readily before a court, where would such a cause be heard? How would an aggrieved party get access before a court? Would the fact that this is now a matrimonial cause preclude access to the ordinary courts?

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