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Wednesday, 4 December 2002
Page: 7183


Senator HARRIS (5:16 PM) —I rise to indicate that One Nation will support Senator Harradine's amendment. The reason for that is that both the minister and Senator Stott Despoja have referred to clause 26 of the bill having the head of power to revoke the licence. The minister also went on further, immediately preceding me, to say that if the person uses an embryo then the licence ceases to exist. I do not believe that that is technically correct. A licence can be to use multiple embryos. If a person has not been able to show that there is a significant improvement in knowledge and technology then that would be a reason for that licence to be revoked—and Senator Harradine's amendment will very clearly do that.

If the conditions set down by the NHMRC do not actually have in them a requirement for that experiment to improve technology then there is no head of power under clause 26 under which they can revoke it. So, firstly, licences can be issued for multiples of embryos and, under clause 26, unless the licence explicitly says that one of the requirements of the licence has to be for the improvement of knowledge, there would be no way that the NHMRC could revoke that licence. The requirement that Senator Harradine's amendment brings in is that there must be a significant improvement in technology. Therefore One Nation supports Senator Harradine's amendment for those reasons.

Question negatived.