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Property Bill reflects relationship diversity

Property Bill to reflect diversity of today's relationships

Cabinet has approved the inclusion of provisions for de facto and same-sex couples in the Matrimonial Property Bill.

The amendments also include provisions for a fairer division of property in the event of couples breaking up.

"These issues were well aired during the Select Committee process," says Acting Justice Minister Margaret Wilson. "The Opposition's call for further consultation and talk of setting up a proxy select committee is simply a political stunt.

"I have offered briefings on the provisions in the Bill to all political parties."

Cabinet also proposes a change of name – to the Property (Relationships) Bill.

"This reflects the diversity of people's relationships in today's society," says Ms Wilson. "De facto and same-sex relationships are now commonplace. Good law provides legal protection and guidance, while also acknowledging the changing nature of society."

The proposed changes follow a conscience vote in Parliament earlier this month which indicated support for an all-inclusive single bill.

No firm date has been set for when the amended bill will be reintroduced into the House for its final reading.


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