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Tuesday, 15 March 2005
Page: 51
Senator BARTLETT (Queensland) [3:52 PM] —At the request of Senator Stott Despoja, I move:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes that:

(i)   on 17 February 2005, the Senate of the United States of America (US) approved unanimously bill S.306, ‘A bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment’,

(ii)   this is the second genetic non-discrimination bill to pass the US Senate,

(iii)   despite continuing advances in genetic technology, Australia still has no nationally consistent legislation dealing with genetic privacy and non-discrimination,

(iv)   Australia has documented cases of genetic discrimination, and

(v)   the Government has not yet established a Human Genetics Commission of Australia as recommended by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) and the Australian Health Ethics Committee in recommendation 5-1 of ALRC report no. 96, ‘Essentially yours: The protection of human genetic information in Australia’, dated March 2003;

(b)   condemns the Government for failing to act on the report; and

(c)   calls on the Government to implement the recommendations of the report as a matter of urgency.

Question agreed to.