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Tuesday, 12 November 2002
Page: 6157

Senator PATTERSON (Minister for Health and Ageing) (10:39 PM) —I believe you raised this issue in your speech in the second reading debate, Senator Hogg. Despite my interest in this, I could not sit through every speech in the second reading debate. When the Council of Australian Governments considered this matter, it was considered that social issues such as surrogacy were a matter for the state and territory jurisdictions and would not be included in the national consistent legislation scheme finally decided upon. While concern has been expressed about the lack of national consistency on these matters, these issues clearly require further consideration by governments but through different processes. Thus the Prohibition of Human Cloning Bill 2002, while it prescribes large penalties for commercial trading in embryos, sperm and eggs, does not extend to surrogacy. This is a matter which is dealt with in different ways by legislation in each state and territory.