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Wednesday, 13 November 2002
Page: 6190

Senator PATTERSON (Minister for Health and Ageing) (11:11 AM) — The Prime Minister has made a commitment, and I believe action will be taken by regulation as soon as possible. I presume that the regulation will be drawn up as quickly as possible in conjunction with the NHMRC, the Department of Health and Ageing and Customs, and obviously in consultation with the Prime Minister. I think it is a reasonable stopgap for us to be able to look at this issue in more detail. I have nothing more to add because I will be opposing the amendment. However, I believe it will be done as quickly as possible.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Jacinta Collins)—Senator Harradine, your amendments (3) and (4) are at this stage deferred. Can I just clarify whether this amendment fits within the same class of issues? As I understand it, we are still waiting for Senator Patterson to come back to the committee on the matters raised in the discussion on amendments (3) and (4).

Senator Harradine —Yes. I think you are perceptive in your remarks, Madam Temporary Chairman, and I would agree with you that it is part of what is being dealt with.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —Can I clarify whether you seek to defer dealing with those amendments consistent with Senator Patterson's request to the committee to defer the two earlier amendments?