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Thursday, 5 December 2002
Page: 7243


Senator PATTERSON (Minister for Health and Ageing) (10:31 AM) — In answer to Senator Harradine's question on the review, one of the problems we have is that, for example, in two years and nine months somebody may have got a licence for a year, or the licence might be for when they have used an embryo and they have not used the embryo by the time the review comes. If you set it to say that licences should all end by the time of the review, I think that would create a massive problem. If there is not the review and if there is some concern about the way these licences are issued, clause 25 states:

(1) The NHMRC Licensing Committee may, by notice in writing given to the licence holder, vary a licence if the Committee believes on reasonable grounds that it is necessary or desirable to do so.

So if, under review, the parliament required the licensing committee to vary the length of the licence, I presume that would be necessary grounds on which to do it. I think there is control within that clause, Senator Harradine, to meet the concern that you have.