Relationships Register (NO 1) Bill

Adjourned debate on second reading. 

(Continued from 30 November 2016.) 

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS ( 11:03 ): I rise to put on the record my position regarding the Relationships Register (No. 1) Bill 2016. I indicate that this bill is a conscience issue for members of the Liberal Party. This bill made it to this place in what I would describe as very bizarre circumstances. It originally started its legislative life as the Relationships Register Bill 2016 in the other place and, in doing so, it incorporated the contents of this current bill and also the contents of what is now the Statutes Amendment (Surrogacy Eligibility) Bill 2016. 

One might muse that there was perhaps an attempt to confuse honourable members of parliament, particularly in the lower house, by including the clauses regarding same-sex access to surrogacy (and I am not describing them as that but certainly other people have) in with the other, what I see as, sensible propositions in this bill. When certain members of the lower house determined that that was the case, we had quite a bizarre situation where the surrogacy eligibility bill was split off from this one. I will probably speak more about that later in today's proceedings when I speak on the surrogacy bill. 

The management of that legislation in the lower house was, I think, a very strange situation. I am never completely surprised at anything that happens in the lower house because I think the management of their legislation, particularly in conscience matters, has always been relatively substandard. 

I think the management of these bills by the member for Reynell, who is an assistant minister to the Premier, has been lacklustre, to say the least. Having said that, I indicate my support for this relationships register bill. I recognise its importance to many South Australians, especially since the tragic death of British tourist David Bulmer-Rizzi, which highlighted the need to extend certain legal rights—which are granted to those who are married in accordance with the commonwealth parliament Marriage Act 1961—to interstate and overseas visitors who are in a committed relationship. With those few words, I reiterate my support for this bill.

Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. J.M.A. Lensink.