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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (16 May) . . Page.. 1719..


Mr Humphries: Not true.

MR CORBELL: Not true? What did Mr Bartels say in the paper yesterday? He said that the executive of the commission "will continue to work with the ACT government to stop the road". That is what was said by Mr Bartels, well-known steerer of the Liberal Party.

Mr Speaker, we will continue to work with the Australian Sports Commission to undertake studies to plan the best outcomes for the Gungahlin Drive extension. We will work with the commission to ensure that access to the campus facilities, and the integration of traffic and car parking is considered in the development of the Gungahlin Drive extension. We will continue to adopt that cooperative approach, even in the face of the concerted campaign being conducted by those opposite and their federal Liberal cronies.

Substitute parents

MS DUNDAS: My question is for the Minister for Health. Minister, are you aware that the provisions for obtaining a substitute parents order under the Artificial Conception Act are due to expire, and hence will not apply for children conceived after June this year? How will the government be responding to this change in the regulation of surrogacy arrangements?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Ms Dundas. Certainly, there is a sunset clause in that particular legislation. The legislation was passed two years ago to allow three families in the ACT to regularise arrangements in relation to surrogate children born as a result of actions taken here in the ACT at the fertility clinic. I recall that the debate within the community and here in the Assembly raised a number of difficult and sensitive issues concerning surrogacy and reproductive technology generally.

At the time of that particular debate, the Labor Party, then in opposition, took the position that it would support the legislation at the time, but wanted to see a broad and general investigation into issues related to reproductive technology. I had discussions with the Chief Minister at the time about the Labor Party's position in relation to the legislation, and in relation to surrogacy generally. I came to an agreement with her that we would support her private members bill on the proviso that there would be a two-year sunset clause, but on the basis that the then government would agree to support a Law Reform Commission inquiry into assisted reproductive technology and all its aspects.

The then Chief Minister promised to do that. Unfortunately, it has not happened.

Mr Humphries: That is not true. It has happened. It was commissioned. It is under way.

MR STANHOPE: It was commissioned? I could actually give you the files. Let me just complete the answer. It was commissioned and no work has been undertaken.

Mr Humphries: That is hardly our fault, is it?


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