Senate debates

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction and the Regulation of Human Embryo Research Amendment Bill 2006

In Committee

5:39 pm

Photo of Ruth WebberRuth Webber (WA, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

I obviously support the amendments standing in my name and that of Senator Stott Despoja. As Senator Stott Despoja has outlined, these are very simple and straightforward amendments. They are amendments that were foreshadowed in our additional comments in the committee report. I must say it was interesting listening to the second reading debate, in that a number of people referred to the fact that they had read the committee report and that it helped guide them in coming to a view. I therefore do not necessarily buy the argument that these amendments have snuck up from nowhere. These provisions were very clearly in the exposure draft, as Senator Stott Despoja has said, that she tabled earlier on behalf of both of us. I therefore strongly support these amendments.

I think there is a need for some consistency in terms of the penalties, particularly if people have concerns about the ethical framework regarding how we deal with people who do not comply with the guidelines. Having a fairly tough penalty regime is probably the best safeguard we have to ensure that people do comply with the guidelines. I look forward to hearing any justification as to why we do not need tougher penalties to ensure people comply with the guidelines.


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