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Monday, 2 December 2002
Page: 6907

Senator PATTERSON (Minister for Health and Ageing) (10:41 PM) — With all due respect to the honourable senator, this bill has been to a committee for four full days. Is that correct, Senator Knowles?

Senator Knowles —Five hearings.

Senator PATTERSON —Five hearings. We do not actually have any amendments before us on this issue. I believe that there are sufficient safeguards here with regard to consultation with the states and the views expressed by the states on the proposed appointment, and I believe there are sufficient safeguards in here to ensure that we will have a committee which will undertake the task of being an appropriate NHMRC Licensing Committee. As I said, if people have a direct pecuniary interest, that has been taken care of. I think it might be helpful if we actually moved on to discuss the amendments that are before us. We do not have an amendment before us on this matter. There has been ample opportunity for this area to be raised. It has not been raised before. I have no further comment to make.