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Wednesday, 13 November 2002
Page: 6203


Senator HOGG (12:35 PM) —I want to speak briefly on this matter. I spoke earlier with Senator McLucas about it and I admitted my surprise to her that this was to form part of the review. I must say that I echo some of the sentiments you made, Madam Temporary Chairman Collins, that if there is some value in this and a review is held, as I understand it, two years down the track, the horse may well have bolted.

I would urge caution about the concept; nonetheless, I would support it, provided it were not put off too far into the future—and I think two years is clearly too far into the future. If there were a real value and need for the establishment of a national stem cell bank, I would urge that, given that the English model is up and running, any investigation be made as quickly as possible, post the passing of this legislation, and that that matter be referred back to the Senate for further deliberation. I believe it is something which we need more evidence on; we need to know more about its operation. As far as I am concerned, if it takes two years and then another six or eight or 12 months before there is legislation and if there is a useful purpose to be served in having a national stem cell bank, the horse will have bolted. So, if this legislation is adopted—and from the debate there seem to be the numbers to carry it—I urge the government not to let any review pertaining to this matter drag on too far into the future.