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Thursday, 5 December 2002
Page: 7250


Senator CHRIS EVANS (11:09 AM) —While the minister is getting an answer, I will do a little `ad-break'. I think it is a reasonable question from Senator Nettle and I will allow the minister to answer. I just want to indicate formally on behalf of the Labor Party that we will be opposing the amendment. Pre-empting me, Senator Bishop summed up the argument pretty well as to why we will be opposing it. We believe it is too broad and that the breadth of appeal allowed by his amendment could in fact end up making the thing unworkable, by virtue of those groups who are basically opposed to any research being allowed to go ahead being able to challenge every decision. While we support openness and appeal rights, you have to balance that against making the system totally unworkable. We are concerned, particularly given the level of emotion and feeling about some of these issues, that the broadness of these appeal rights would in fact frustrate the purpose of the legislation. So we will not be supporting that particular amendment.