Tuesday, 7 November 2006
Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction and the Regulation of Human Embryo Research Amendment Bill 2006
I want to put a few comments on the record. At some stage I will get involved in my role as the Chairman of Committees, so I am grateful that you, Madam Temporary Chairman Troeth, are in the chair. I cannot speak for all my colleagues, but a couple of colleagues share my views. It is certainly not my intention, nor the intention of some of my colleagues—those around here would know who they are—to put forward any amendments to this bill. This bill has now passed its second reading and is into the committee stage. At this time it is certainly not my intention to move amendments. In my view it is very hard to make a bad bill better by moving amendments to it. As I said in my speech during the second reading debate, this bill is about the creation of a human embryonic clone. That in itself is the fundamentally objectionable part to me. Others can speak for themselves. Moving amendments, therefore, will not change the character or the nature of this legislation.
During the committee stage there may be a move by some people to remove what is considered by some people as the ‘yuk’ factor. However, simply removing the ‘yuk’ factor, or the objectionable parts—even more objectionable than human cloning—will not make the bill any more acceptable to me. I understand that a few others share similar views to mine. As I said in my speech during the second reading debate, this bill was about crossing an ethical line. The legislation has now achieved that. It still has to go through the committee stage, and I understand that a range of amendments will be put before this chamber. However, that ethical line has been crossed. I will be awaiting the third reading of this bill, where I will be voting against it. I will not take up the time of the committee arguing about issues that might seek to vary the legislation at the margins.