What this amendment proposes to do is to take a George Orwell approach to ranking considerations. When Orwell's animals in his classic novel Animal Farm draft their legislation on the barn wall, they affirm that 'All animals are equal'. The pigs then make an amendment: 'But some animals are more equal than others'. The pigs, of course, had an ulterior motive and I fear that there is one at play here as well. What these amendments are saying is, 'Yes, the two considerations are primary, but one is more primary than the other.' What the bill does in reality is to retain child safety as a primary concern while relegating the child's parental relationships to a minor concern. It sounds innocent enough, I suppose, but the Trojan horse here is a facade of enhancing child safety. The bill is dressed up as an attempt to protect children, which is a pointless exercise, because child safety is fully ensured in the current act. What is inside this Trojan horse, the malicious code that will infect society, is an attempt to undermine equal access for both parents. This change would invite the court to ignore the requirement to consider the second pillar—the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents.
[BB]ut justice and maintenance of rights for fathers is an affront to this feminist ideology from this government. What a clever way to rob men and rob fathers of their rights! Surely no-one would vote against amendments aimed at protecting children and preventing family violence. But that is not what these amendments are really about. There is already protection in the current at. The fact is that these amendments actually trivialise what is a very serious matter—that being family violence. The broadened definition of 'family violence' waters down the meaning of violence and will, in effect, make family violence more acceptable—precisely the opposite of the purported aim of these amendments. These amendments should be seen for what they are. They are a Trojan horse, full of malicious code designed to deprive fathers of their rights. The best thing we can do to protect the safety of children and to prevent family violence is to leave this act as it is.[/B] (Time expired)
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George Christensen - Member for Dawson
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