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Thursday, 14 November 2002
Page: 6351


Senator PATTERSON (Minister for Health and Ageing) (11:36 AM) — Senator Collins has noted that the AHEC guidelines require that the research involve a restricted number of embryos. My concern is that that is not sufficiently certain for the implementation of legislation. `Restricted' is an uncertain term. Do you mean restricted to seven, restricted to 10, restricted to 100 embryos? The licensing committee will first of all decide whether the research is necessary, appropriate and justifiable and then determine how many embryos are required to implement that research. The bill makes it clear that the committee has to look at the number that is likely to be necessary to achieve the goals of the project. Just putting `restricted' does not give you that information. It is how many are necessary—not an unrestricted number but the number likely to be necessary. That is entirely consistent with COAG. The number of embryos allowed to be used will also be detailed, as I said before, as a condition of the licence and will be publicly available. That, as far as I am concerned, meets the COAG intentions. I say again I will not be supporting the amendment.