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Wednesday, 27 November 1974
Page: 2874

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - I do not agree with this amendment. I do not think it helps. I know that some of my advisers think that it is unconstitutional. I do not agree with them. I think they are thinking in terms of the kind of matrimonial causes that we have traditionally had and this, perhaps, creates some kind of matter arising out of marriage. Some may think that this will lead to provocation. I am not so upset about it because I think that in practice it will not mean very much. If one ofthe parties commences an antagonistic action for, in effect, a redistribution of the property- as Senator Milliner has put it, an alteration ofthe property interests- that would probably lead to a divorce. But I think that many of these things can be approached theoretically whereas in a practical sort of way the parties may be living reasonably well together and solving their problems. If they are not living reasonably well together, I suppose it does not matter whether the divorce proceedings or the property action comes first. So really I do not think it will make much difference in practice. I must confess that my instinct is completely against it. I do not like it. It is one of the Committee's proposals which is not good, and I will vote against it.

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