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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 1986..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

The Labor Party was of the view that it would be appropriate for the assisted reproductive technologies reference that the former Attorney-General had issued to the ACT Law Reform Commission to proceed. This would allow for a consolidated legislative approach to the issue following on from a detailed community debate and consultation on all issues in relation to surrogacy.

At the time the legislation was passed, I sought a reassurance that the ACT Law Reform Commission would be given the resources necessary to complete its work. Unfortunately it seems that the commission has not been able to pursue its reference on assisted reproductive technologies as anticipated. The 1 July 2002 sunset date is imminent. There is no report, and we are no further forward in resolving these issues.

One of the considerations in giving the reference to the Law Reform Commission is that other jurisdictions with far greater resources to devote to research are also currently examining these issues. New South Wales, for example, is currently developing assisted reproductive technologies legislation following on from a discussion paper issued in 1998. The Council of Australian Governments has also recently agreed to develop a nationally consistent approach on assisted reproductive technology. It may be a more appropriate use of the ACT Law Reform Commission's resources if it had the flexibility to plug in this other work in respect of this reference.

I am looking at revised terms of reference for the ACT Law Reform Commission that take account of this wider national discussion but also focus more specifically on the particular issues in this legislation.

The amendment proposed in this bill will extend the period of operation of the relevant provisions of the Artificial Conception Act 1985 until 1 July 2004. The amendment is intended to preserve the current law so as to allow further time for consideration of the matter by the community and the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Workers Compensation (Acts of Terrorism) Amendment Bill 2002

Mr Corbell , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (10.37): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, many of us here today, together with a substantial group of our partners in the community, have demonstrated their commitment to the reform of the ACT workers compensation scheme. The bill I bring forward today will ensure that the work of all involved in the reform of the ACT workers compensation scheme is sustained and invigorated.


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