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Wednesday, 27 November 1974
Page: 2880


Senator DURACK (Western Australia) - I support the amendments moved by Senator Everett. I think they are a vast improvement on the provisions of the Bill and indeed on the Standing Committee's own recommendations. I think we have had some rather satisfactory second thoughts. In forming those second thoughts we have had assistance from a number of people. However there is one point that bothers me. It is purely a thoroughly legalistic point. When I read the proposed amendments I could not understand what on earth the phrase 'subsisting maintenance agreement' meant. I know there is some reference to it in the present clause, but by and large we talk about maintenance agreements throughout both the present clause and this amendment.

To my mind either there is an agreement in law or there is not an agreement. I just do not know how there can be an agreement which is not a subsisting agreement. I think the addition ofthe word 'subsisting' leads to ambiguity. I am concerned that there might be some rather unnecessary and gratuitous legal argument as to what on earth the word means and why it should be there at all.







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