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Tuesday, 12 November 2002
Page: 6150


Senator MURPHY (9:53 PM) —I have a question regarding the technical issues. Listening to what the Minister for Health and Ageing has said, the difficulty in identifying things seems to be a justification for not accepting the amendment proposed. I do not disagree; it probably would be difficult to identify the things that we are talking about in the amendment proposed by Senator Harradine. But I am not sure that that is the basis upon which you would seek to not accept the amendment. It would seem that, if the amendment strengthens the bill, that is a fair and reasonable outcome. The part which says `insert “or products or components derived from a human embryo clone”' really strengthens what is already proposed in the bill. I do not think it is a sufficient argument to say, `We might not be able to prove that.' It does not place any onerous obligations on anyone in terms of having to identify whether or not products or components that have been derived from human embryo clones have been used. But, if they are found, then you have the opportunity to prosecute the offence as listed in the bill. It seems to me to be a logical thing to do.

I cannot understand why it is unacceptable on the basis that you say, `It is too difficult to prove.' I accept that it would be very difficult to prove some of those things, but I do not accept the argument that the Minister for Health and Ageing is putting up by saying, `This is an unacceptable proposal on the basis that it might be too difficult to prove.' I just think that it makes no sense. In fact, if we can add something to strengthen this aspect of the bill, why shouldn't we do it?