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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 4 Hansard (30 March) . . Page.. 1259..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

The COAG decision was informed by close analysis of the central ethical, social, legal and moral issues that are relevant to this matter. The Commonwealth Prohibition of Cloning Act 2002 and the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 provide the framework for the national scheme and were assented to on 19 December 2002.

The ACT government and other states and territories were involved in the extensive consultation process undertaken on the Commonwealth legislation. This bill is consistent with the Commonwealth legislation. A single Commonwealth bill covering human cloning and embryo research was presented to the House of Representatives, then split during debate and passed as two acts.

This bill makes it an offence, with a maximum prison term of 15 years, for a person to create a human embryo clone. It also prohibits a range of other unacceptable practices, including the development of an embryo outside the body for more than 14 days and the mixing of human and animal gametes to produce hybrid embryos.

Developing embryos for purposes other than for their use in an assisted reproductive technology-ART-treatment program and commercial trading in human reproductive material are similarly considered to be unsafe and unethical and are also proposed to be prohibited under this bill.

I commend the Human Cloning (Prohibition) Bill 2004 to the Assembly.

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

Human Embryo (Research) Bill 2004

Mr Corbell , by leave, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (11.42): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to introduce the Human Embryo (Research) Bill 2004. This bill and the Human Cloning (Prohibition) Bill 2004 form the ACT component of the nationally consistent scheme to prohibit human cloning and regulate research involving excess human embryos agreed to at the Council of Australian Governments meeting on 5 April 2002.

The bill is consistent with the Commonwealth legislation. A single Commonwealth bill covering human cloning and embryo research was presented to the House of Representatives, then split during debate and passed as two acts. The Human Embryo (Research) Bill 2004 supports the establishment of a comprehensive national regulatory system to govern the use of excess assisted reproductive technology embryos.

Under the scheme, researchers and scientists proposing to undertake work on excess assisted reproductive technology embryos will be required to meet strict criteria and


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