March 13th 2004

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Has Canberra gone bananas? Has Biosecurity Australia dropped its quarantine standards?

EDITORIAL: The law and the status of marriage

QUEENSLAND: Westons biscuits now in Australian hands

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Band-aids won't solve Australia's ageing problem

STRAWS IN THE WIND : Drawing the line / The smile on the face of the tiger / Pecking order

FAMILY: Social engineering in education system

DRUGS: ACT pulls back from legalised heroin injecting room

Taiwan's necessary referendum (letter)

Islamic societies (letter)

Privatisation and WA's power shortages (letter)

The Latham paradox (letter)

Prevention is better than cure (letter)

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: The culture of life and the United Nations

FAILED SCHOOLS: Is there a way out of the crisis in education?

CHINA: Did Beijing assist nuclear proliferation?

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Prevention is better than cure (letter)

by Janos Paskandy

News Weekly, March 13, 2004

Your article in the January 31 issue on fatherhood contains the statement of "Dealing with matters of justice after marriage breaks down ... (is) dealing with consequence ... not seeking to reduce the level of divorce." (Page 14)

Well please consider this: dealing with matters of justice after divorce is the primary weapon in regulating both: divorce and marriage. It can be a deterrent or a motivator.

It used to be men, who initiated divorces. Today, it is women who make up the majority of contract breakers. The latest available statistics (2001) show that 23% of divorces were joint applications; 30% was male-initiated and 47% was female-initiated.

Under the current legal system, men cop more than a fair share of punishment after divorce, irrespective of fault, whereas women are benefiting enormously. Men are more often than not penalised by the loss of almost everything they worked for including children. Such are the disincentives for men to divorce and also to get married in the first place, as the penalties are not lessened when women break the marriage contract for no morally acceptable reason.

Your article is a cry for binding men into families and fatherhood. The statutory base upon which the family rests is the Family Law Act 1975. Until that insult to intelligence and justice is repealed or rendered impotent, I'm afraid there is little chance to secure fathers for children

Janos Paskandy,
Mirrabooka WA

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