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Wednesday, 27 November 1974
Page: 2855

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - It is nice to see the wheel turn right around from where it was alleged that the Bill would provide quick and easy divorce and would destroy marriage to where it is now suggested that we are making it impossible for anyone to get a divorce. I think that that is not the result of the Bill and that in the vast majority of cases there will be no question arising, except that the party wants the divorce, the 12 months separation has been proven, and there is no suggestion of any resumption of cohabitation. There would be no problems at all. There are all the provisions about counselling and reconciliation and so forth which I will not go into, but if there is a case where the party cannot prove the ground, that is, the 12 months separation ground which the Committee went through before, or where the court is satisfied that there is a reasonable likelihood of resumption of cohabitation, then of course the parties would not get the divorce. There is no escape from that, but if the honourable senator is suggesting that this Bill is going to prevent people somehow from getting a divorce and they will be imprisoned in marriage, that is contrary to the effect ofthe Bill.

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