Attorney-General Robert McClelland has today welcomed the passage through the Senate of the Rudd Governments landmark legislation enabling de facto couples to access the federal family law courts on property and maintenance matters.
These reforms are long overdue. They will end current arrangements which place a huge administrative and financial burden on separating de facto couples, Attorney-General Robert McClelland said.
De facto couples have been waiting six years for the Commonwealth to accept references of power from the States and Territories to simplify the laws and provide greater protection.
Consistent with the Governments policy, the legislation will not discriminate between opposite-sex and same-sex de facto couples. Nothing in the legislation will alter marriage laws.
The Rudd Government has acted swiftly to provide a simpler, less costly and fairer regime for de facto couples across Australia, honouring its election commitment.
The legislation will now return to the House for approval.