Melbourne City Council will keep its Relationship Declaration Register despite the fact a state Government scheme is now in place.
Councillors voted to maintain the scheme, saying the council version offered couples — including same-sex couples — the chance to register their relationship even if one partner is not a permanent Victorian resident.
Cr Jennifer Kanis said there is still a need for the council’s register, which has a more relaxed residency policy.
“The City of Melbourne’s Relationship Register was the first in Victoria and is open to all partnerships… to formally register their relationship,” Kanis said.
“Our register requires only one partner to be a permanent resident of Victoria, whereas the state’s register requires both partners to be permanent Victorian residents.”
Currently around 80 percent of council applications involve one partner who is not a permanent Victorian resident.
More than 170 couples have registered with the council since the scheme’s introduction in 2007, many for the purpose of permanent residency applications to prove an existing relationship.
More than 100 couples have registered their relationship with the state Government scheme which began in December 2008.
“Earlier this year, council wrote to the Victorian Attorney-General requesting that the state’s register be changed to align with council’s,” Kanis said.
“The Government indicated it was not prepared to amend the Victorian register to accommodate partners from outside the state.”
Yarra City Council will also keep its relationship register, although only six couples have registered since 2007, and none since the state scheme started.

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