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Monday, 2 December 2002
Page: 6906


Senator HARRADINE (10:33 PM) —If I move the next amendment, we will go on to clause 18, but I want to ask a couple of questions about clause 16 whilst we are on the subject. Regarding the constitution of the NHMRC Licensing Committee, clause 16 says:

(a) a member of AHEC;

(b) a person with expertise in research ethics ...

What are `research ethics'? I am interested to know what `research ethics' are. It then says:

(c) a person with expertise in a relevant area of research ...

I would be interested to know what is meant by `relevant area of research'. It goes on to say:

(d) a person with expertise in assisted reproductive technology;

(e) a person with expertise in a relevant area of law ...

Does that mean patents? What does it mean? It then says:

(f) a person with expertise in consumer health issues relating to disability and disease ...

I do not have a question on that, but then it says:

(g) a person with expertise in consumer issues relating to assisted reproductive technology ...

I want to ask a specific question about that. Would that exclude a person from a consumer organisation which is substantially funded by the industry? If that is so then how can you possibly have the situation where that person is going to support the industry? I will be specific. In the examination by the community affairs committee, a person admitted that the organisation called ACCESS, the so-called consumer organisation for assisted reproductive technology, was I think 70 per cent funded by the ART industry— the IVF industry. If we are going to have a licensing committee that is competent in that regard in more ways than one, we should have answers to those questions.