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Tuesday, 26 November 1974
Page: 2782

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - I move:

Insert the following new clause: - 21a. The Family Court shall, in the exercise ofits jurisdiction under this Act or any other Act, and any other court exercising jurisdiction under this Act shall, in the exercise of that jurisdiction, have regard to-

(a)   the need to preserve and protect the institution of marriage:

(b)   the need to give the widest possible protection and assistance to the family as the natural and fundamental group unit of society, particularly while it is responsible for the care and education of dependent children:

(c)   the need to protect the rights of children and to promote their welfare: and

(d)   the means available for assisting parties to a marriage to consider reconciliation or the improvement of their relationship to each other and to the children of the marriage.

In regard to paragraph (a), I understand that Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson intends to move to add the words 'as the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others voluntarily entered into for life'. In regard to paragraph (b), the Committee will recall that those words 'the natural and fundamental group unit of society' are the ones which appear in the Convention on Civil and Political Rights and also in the Universal Declaration of Rights, and I am sure that their inclusion in this Bill will receive a certain amount of approval throughout the community. I stress that they are here in the central part of this enactment where the principles to be applied by the court are set out.

Senator Sir KENNETHANDERSON (New South Wales) (8.35)-Mr Chairman, I wonder whether we could deal with my amendment at the same time as we deal with Senator Murphy's amendment because I think that we have a degree of unanimity in this matter?I am suggesting that in proposed clause 21a. at the end of paragraph (a) add the following words: 'as the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others voluntarily entered into for life'. Honourable senators will observe that my amendment is different from the circulated amendment which read: 'which, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others voluntarily entered into for life'. We canvassed this matter when I endeavoured to have these words included in the interpretations clause. At that stage my amendment was defeated on the basis that it was not the appropriate place for it. I think it is something that we have to have regard to now. I understand that we will agree on the voices to add those words to Senator Murphy's amendment.

The CHAIRMAN - The only way of dealing with this matter would be either for Senator Murphy to seek leave to add those words to his amendment or for Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson to move his amendment. The question that I have before me at the present time is that the proposed new clause moved by Senator Murphy be inserted.

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON - I move:

In proposed new clause 21a. at end of paragraph (a), add the following words- as the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others voluntarily entered into for life.

The CHAIRMAN - The question is that the words proposed to be added by Senator Anderson's amendment be added.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Proposed new clause 2 1 A, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 22.

(   1 ) Subject to this section, proceedings under this Act shall be instituted by application.

(2)   A respondent may, in an answer to an application, include an application for any decree or declaration under this Act.

(3)   Where a decree nisi of dissolution of marriage or of nullity of marriage has been made, proceedings of a kind referred to in sub-paragraph (c) (i) or (ii) of the definition of matrimonial cause' in sub-section 4 (1) (not being proceedings seeking the discharge, suspension, revival or variation of an order previously made in proceedings with respect to the maintenance of a party) shall not be instituted after the expiration of 12 months after the date of the making of the decree or the date of commencement of this Act, whichever is the later.

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