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Wednesday, 4 December 2002
Page: 7125


Senator HARRADINE (12:30 PM) —I thank the minister for responding. I do not agree with her. It is just building a strong case that it is not a strict regulatory regime which is enforced by the licensing committee. In these circumstances where I cannot get any further sense out of this situation, I seek leave to withdraw amendments (9) and (12) on sheet 2696.

Leave granted.


Senator HARRADINE —I move amendment (10) on sheet 2696:

(10) Clause 24, page 18 (after line 4), after subclause (5), insert:

(5A) A report in accordance with paragraph (5)(c) must:

(a) be provided by 15 May and 15 November each year; and

(b) include details of the licence holder's effectiveness in advancing knowledge or improvement in technologies for treatment.

This amendment is again about reporting requirements. It is an amendment to clause 24. The amendment would allow the NHMRC Licensing Committee to monitor a key requirement they must consider in deciding whether to issue a licence. Clause 21(4) of the bill states:

In deciding whether to issue the licence, the NHMRC Licensing Committee must have regard to the following:

... ... ...

(b) the likelihood of significant advance in knowledge, or improvement in technologies for treatment ...

The amendment would ensure that licence holders are required to report to the committee on this key criterion. Paragraph 6.5 of the COAG communique states:

... the system should enable appropriate monitoring of compliance with the national standards and provide legislated penalties for non-compliance.

So we are talking about the requirement on the applicants. This, I think, does strengthen the bill.