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Tuesday, 12 November 2002
Page: 6146


Senator HARRADINE (9:22 PM) —If that is the minister's legal advice, I suggest that she get another lawyer, because that statement just said that a somatic cell, for example, could be termed as an embryo under this definition as it is developing in an integrated way. Her adviser has ignored the next point, which said:

... similar to the potential of the cell formed by the fusion of an ovum and a sperm.

No somatic cell has that potential if merely placed in a suitable environment, so it could not possibly be referred to as an embryo. I suppose that I will be around for a while yet. I have seen difficulties arise. This is no reflection on the minister, but I have read various statements in the Hansard which have referred to advice, even advice by the august Attorney-General, which has not always held up over the years. If the government have simply ignored my attempt to do the right thing and point out the problem, if that is their intention for whatever I move on this, so be it. I have attempted to do what I think is proper so that the bill, which we all agree with, can be truly operative.