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Tuesday, 12 November 2002
Page: 6152

Senator PATTERSON (Minister for Health and Ageing) (10:07 PM) — Given that there will be an opportunity for this issue to be raised, because the Prime Minister has indicated an amendment will come before the House—and I presume it will be a T-status bill to facilitate that as quickly as possible—as I have said, this issue which Senator Harradine and other senators have referred to could be pursued probably more appropriately under the customs regulations. That would permit time to examine whether the ban that Senator Harradine is recommending through his amendment goes beyond what COAG's intention was.

I do think that there are problems in the sense that, when we import medications—I know they go through a Therapeutic Goods Administration process—we do not know everything about the derivation and the production of those medications. I think it would be appropriate for this discussion to be had. I understand people's concerns. I think it is appropriate for it to be considered when we have the discussion about the banning of exported embryos for a moratorium period of 12 months under the customs regulations.