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Wednesday, 4 December 2002
Page: 7108


Senator HARRADINE (10:42 AM) —Senator Bartlett's comments are a serious reflection on senators who strongly oppose the guillotining of a measure for which a conscience vote has been allowed. In all the 27 or 28 years that I have been here, I cannot recall one instance when that has occurred. The cut-off motion for the Research Involving Embryos Bill 2002 sets a precedent by the government, with the support of the Australian Democrats. Senator Bartlett has got up here and reflected upon the intention of those who will vote against this guillotine motion. Senator Bartlett's comments were a reflection on Senator Brown. That was an improper reflection, because Senator Brown has taken a keen interest in the debate on this bill. I would have thought that the Democrats would uphold the importance of a conscience vote, but no, they do not. In fact, they voted against an amendment of mine which would have given effective protection for those who have a conscientious objection to working in relation to embryonic stem cells. So workers and students were not properly protected in that regard by the vote of the Democrats. That is all it needed; it was a close vote.

I am not going to take my full time, as Senator Bartlett did; I am just going to raise a couple of questions with Senator Ian Campbell. I notice that by, I think, five o'clock we need to have completed divisions 1, 2 and 3 of part 2. Clause 19 is the last provision relating to those matters. I notice that some of the amendments which fall within that area are listed right at the back of the running sheet. Perhaps they should come up in order to ensure that they are dealt with in that particular period of time. If you have a look at the last page of the running sheet, perhaps we could get the amendments to clause 12 up in the order a bit. They could then be dealt with as from now so that they fall within those areas. Possibly we can keep on with these discussions at a later stage. I do not want to eat into the time that is set for this discussion.