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Tuesday, 3 December 2002
Page: 7027

Senator HOGG (5:09 PM) —Very briefly, may I say that I support the comments made by Senator Collins. The real concern I have about the proposition that is being put forward by Senator Stott Despoja and Senator McLucas is simply that, from the assent to this bill, licences will be issued. It would seem to me that, for all the value that one might get out of a review and the establishment of a stem cell bank further down the track, one is going to be faced with this problem: how does one make the licences that have already been approved, and the work that comes out of those licences, subject to or part of that stem cell bank? People will argue about retrospectivity, and I cannot see anyone agreeing to anything being retrospective. Whilst Senator Nettle's proposal does not necessarily encompass everything that I would like to see in this area, it would make sense that any licences issued were subject to the establishment of the stem cell bank. That is not going to be achieved by the proposal in the amendment of Senator Stott Despoja and Senator McLucas. So, at this stage, with no other options being before the Senate, it seems to me that the only reasonable option is the amendment being put forward by Senator Nettle, which I support.