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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (25 October) . . Page.. 1975 ..

MR CONNOLLY (continuing):

Mr Speaker, these amendments are very significant in the sense that they take what is already Australia's most progressive law one step further. Viewed from another perspective, they are but the logical development of the law that was put before the Assembly and passed last year, given the nature of the law and the fact that it gets into some points where there are some black letter legal issues that should be fully debated in the community. I have sought to replicate in opposition the course we took with this law reform measure in government - that is, to issue for public discussion a draft of the law. I will be circulating this to the obvious interest groups, such as the Council on the Ageing and the Carers Association. I would hope that the Government would look at it from any technical perspectives with the much greater resources that the Government Law Office has.

I would very much hope, Mr Speaker, that this law reform measure can be debated in this parliament with the same maturity that marked the debate on the Domestic Relationships Act, which was a significant step forward for human rights in this country. I present the following paper:

Domestic Relationships - Extending property rights to cover intestacy and testators family maintenance - Discussion paper, including exposure drafts of the Family Provision (Amendment) Bill 1995 and Administration and Probate (Amendment) Bill 1995.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Mr Humphries) adjourned.

Statement by Minister

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General): I seek leave to make a short statement on the paper on domestic relationships and property rights presented by Mr Connolly.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I have not had an opportunity yet to examine this paper fully, but I certainly accept the premise of Mr Connolly's remarks - that there is a need to extend some of the provisions of the domestic relationships legislation passed last year into matters of administration of probate and intestacy. I should indicate to the Assembly that there is legislation well advanced on the Government's part to carry forward that legislation in that way.

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