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Tuesday, 3 December 2002
Page: 7067

Senator BARNETT (10:24 PM) —I have had a chance to review the bill. I appreciate the comments made by Senator Harris because I think that what he says is entirely correct. Clause 10 of the bill talks about the offence in the use of excess ART embryos. In subclause (2) it says:

A use of an excess ART embryo by a person is an exempt use for the purposes of subsection (1) if:

(a) the use consists only of:

(i) storage ...

(ii) removal ...

(iii) transport ...

Then it goes on to (b), (c), (d) and (e), and (f) is of course the catch-all clause. It says:

... the use is of a kind prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph.

So it will not be a problem for the government to prescribe regulations under this. It is an exempt use, and an exempt use is not covered by my amendment, so I cannot see that it is caught. I would like to see some advice on that to be persuaded otherwise. I would like to hear the views of people on the other side about this. What are the Labor Party's arguments against (R5)? It specifically makes it clear that it is authorised only for the extraction of human embryonic stem cells and for no other purpose. That is what it says; it is pretty straight down the middle. Again, that is the whole purpose of this bill; that is what it is designed to do. It would be helpful to put on the record the views and the advice provided in response to that point. I appreciate the comments of Senator Harris, Senator Harradine and others in support of the amendment.

Question negatived.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator McLucas)—Senator Harradine, you are next on the running sheet with amendment (5) on sheet 2751.

Senator Harradine —Could I have the understanding of the Committee of the Whole that I will move that at a later stage, probably towards the end of the running sheet.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN — That is in order. For the record, Senator Boswell's amendment on sheet 2718 will follow Senator Harradine's amendment when that is dealt with. The next amendment on the running sheet is Senator Bishop's amendment (1).