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Thursday, 25 February 2010
Page: 1199

Senator SHERRY (Assistant Treasurer) (12:58 PM) —I thank Senator Fierravanti-Wells for her contribution to the debate on the National Health Security Amendment Bill 2009. The bill amends the National Health Security Act 2007 to enhance Australia’s obligations for securing certain biological agents that could be used as weapons, known as security sensitive biological agents, or SSBAs. As Senator Fierravanti-Wells has discussed, the bill enables the relevant minister to set standards to require background checking of persons who handle or dispose of SSBAs. The bill strengthens Australia’s security against potential threats and delivers on the Rudd government’s commitment to protect all Australians.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.