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Wednesday, 23 October 2002
Page: 5674

Senator BROWN (10:37 AM) —I reiterate that the Greens support this legislation. The need to give rapid identification of loved ones to the people who have suffered so much as a result of the outrage in Bali is paramount. This will obviously also, coincidentally, help people who are suffering in Indonesia and in many other countries around the world in their need to know what has happened to their relatives and loved ones who are missing at this awful time. We recognise that the whole issue of DNA testing—how it should be used and how it should not be used—is a very contentious one. I can see reasons for potentially expanding this legislation in the future—for example, to identify people who die as a result of aircraft accidents overseas. However, that is not the case in point at the moment. There may be ways in which this legislation could be improved both to ensure that DNA testing does not go beyond the parameters that we are talking about here this morning and, in special cases, to ensure that it does. The urgency of the legislation is so important that this is one of the rare cases when it overrides the impulse we all have to look at it further and get more advice. That is why the whole Senate is joining in seeing the rapid passage of this legislation. We are in full support of it.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a third time.