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No research done on effects of De Facto Bill

The Government has done no behavioural research on the effects of the proposed de facto law changes, said ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks.

Mr Franks was commenting on the Governments decision to apply the same rules to marriage, same sex and de facto relationships.

“The proposed change to force de facto couples to share their property like married couples is a typical ‘feel good’ slogan law. The type of law that often hurts those it is meant to help.

“This Government always talks loudly of giving ‘rights’ to some, when in reality, it wants to disguise taking away rights of others – in this case the right to choose to not make a commitment that extends to marriage.

“In response to my questioning in the Justice and Electoral Select committee, the Ministry of Justice confirmed that no work had been done on what the Government’s proposed law might actually do to the stability of de facto relationships.

“If it becomes law that you must halve your property or become liable to support someone if you are in a relationship for more than three years, people will do things to protect themselves. The law could create more bust-ups and hurt for children and vulnerable partners that it is meant to help.

“Sound law can assist parties involved in same sex or de facto relationships to know what they can expect from each other, and to simplify the rules that govern what they owe to children or the state.

”ACT will support legislation that enables couples to opt in to agreements that cover these matters, but this must be based on choice.

”And any legislation that further damages to make it easier for the Government to force all relationships into the same rules will not be supported by ACT.

“ACT believes in open and informed debate. We will ensure that the proposals are closely scrutinised in the house,” said Stephen Franks.


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