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Tuesday, 3 December 2002
Page: 7075


Senator PATTERSON (Minister for Health and Ageing) (11:13 PM) — As I indicated before, there will be different types of licences granted and the NHMRC Licensing Committee will set the reporting requirements. It is unlikely to be five years, because there is going to be a review in three years. I would be very surprised if the licensing committee did not require a licence holder to report in a reasonable time. When the three-year review comes up, if it is found that the licensing committee is failing in its duty to get licence holders to report adequately, then that will be dealt with. But we may find that the licensing committee will put, as I said, a much more stringent reporting requirement on one over the other, because they want to watch it more closely or they want to have more information. By prescribing it we may limit the licensing committee in doing what they think is best under the circumstances. The public database will also list the conditions of the licence, and there will be public scrutiny straight away if there is not a reporting process. I can see Senator Murphy about to jump up. At the moment I would think that everybody involved in this is heinous and they are going to do terrible things. But the public will be able to observe this. As I said, there will be a review, and prescribing the reporting conditions may limit what the licensing committee can do.