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Wednesday, 13 November 2002
Page: 6299

Senator HARRADINE (9:40 PM) —My amendments are absolutely crucial. This bill bans cloning but allows the importation of stem cells derived from cloned human embryos. Frankly, that would totally undermine the bill. There are certain scientists who have connections in Singapore and other places and who want to clone or use stem cells from cloned human embryos. That would be impossible under this legislation but for the fact that the legislation as it stands does not ban the importation of embryonic stem cells derived from cloned embryos. I would have thought the amendments would be acceptable to the chamber. I cannot see the problem but, if the minister wants to have more time to consider the matter, I believe that the committee should provide that time in the hope that there will be a satisfactory outcome which will shore up the provisions of this bill which bans all forms of cloning.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Jacinta Collins)—Going back to the procedural matter regarding how we should proceed from here, it was suggested that we move now to Senator Murphy's amendment, we defer Senator Allison's amendments until the matters of Senator Harradine's that have been deferred are dealt with at some later time, then we move to Senator Harradine's amendment regarding schedule 1. Perhaps if we proceed in that way, any informal arrangements regarding other matters can be dealt with outside of procedural issues and we can make the time of the committee fruitful by proceeding. If Senator Murphy would return to his chair and it is the wish of the committee, we can proceed.