Legislative Council, Tammy Franks MLC
Second reading contribution Tuesday 28 March 2017
STATUTES AMENDMENT (REGISTERED RELATIONSHIPS) BILL
Second Reading Adjourned debate on second reading.
(Continued from 1 March 2017).
The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (16:08): I rise on behalf of the Greens to speak to the registered relationships bill which, as members are aware, is consequential on previous law reforms passed through this parliament—indeed, a rainbow raft of law reforms that we have seen in the past month which, of course, the Greens welcome because we support equality.
I rise today to put on the record the Greens' support for what is essentially an administrative bill, but I also indicate that I have some questions about the workings of the relationships register and I flag those with the government. I thank the government for their previous information, and I have been in contact with the relevant ministers and the Premier's office about some of the concerns I will raise today.
The Premier quite rightly sought to act on this issue of relationships recognition because of the terribly sad case of Marco Bulmer-Rizzi and his husband David not being recognised as married when they came here on honeymoon and an unfortunate death occurred. At that time, in a speech that was a precursor to this bill, I noted that we have a situation in this state where the computer says no, in the worst examples of bureaucracy not recognising the fabric of people's lives—the slap in the face after having waited so long to get married, to be in the wonderful celebration of a honeymoon, and then to have that marriage not recognised in the event of a death.
I raise this question, as I have done previously in this place, because I am also concerned about situations in South Australia where South Australians have gone overseas to get married and have come back to this state seeking that that marriage be recognised in the case of the death of one of the spouses. My question to the government is: at present, where a couple has married overseas and one of the spouses has now died, does the death certificate still not recognise that they were married in another jurisdiction? Does the computer still say no?
With those few words, I look forward to the committee stage and some answers. These are not unexpected questions to the government, as I have raised them in the briefings. While the Greens support what is essentially an administrative bill, we want the computer to stop saying no to these people and to recognise not just their love and their relationships but the fact that they have been married and that that should be recognised in their lives as in their deaths.