Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 880 ..
In 2019, in response to advocacy on behalf of people who have used IVF, the federal parliament passed legislation which ensured that the data on success rates from IVF clinics was collected by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and made publicly available. This enabled the Australian government, earlier this year, to develop and launch the Your IVF Success website, which provides detailed information for couples on the process of using IVF, the success rates of all clinics in Australia, and information on your individual likelihood of having a baby through IVF. Dr Paterson’s motion notes these important developments.
Other state and territory governments have taken a range of steps to provide their residents with extra consumer protections, support and government rebates to move towards equitable access to ART. A review undertaken by the Victorian government in 2018 led to a series of recommendations to improve safeguards and supports, as well as access and affordability to ART.
Dr Paterson’s motion speaks directly to many of the complex issues I have raised by calling on the government to review the availability of support services for people who are undertaking ART, look into the regulatory frameworks around IVF, and consider the accessibility of IVF to people from lower socio-economic groups. As a result of these investigations and considerations, we would expect the government to implement a series of changes to the way that IVF clinics are regulated and the support provided to people undergoing their processes.
This motion also calls on the government to consider establishing a government-regulated donor registry to provide information to children born from donor gametes on their biological information. At present this information is collected and stored by IVF clinics themselves, meaning that the records they keep are vulnerable to being lost, should an IVF clinic fold. This information is not regulated, either, meaning that different information is kept and stored in different clinics.
This motion seeks to provide clarity, consistency and reliability to donor-conceived children, should they wish to access information in the future about their donor. It also investigates the impacts of impending federal mitochondrial donation laws on couples in the ACT. I thank Dr Paterson for her motion, which the ACT Greens support today.
MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (4.35): I thank Dr Paterson for bringing this motion to the chamber today. The desire for family, and healthy family, is a fundamental and natural one. As our society has evolved, the opportunities and optimism for achieving these desires can be more easily fulfilled.
As the motion notes, we are seeing an increase in the use of assistance from reproductive technologies across Australia and the region, and it would be fair to assume that a similar trend is occurring here in Canberra. As such, I think it is wise that Dr Paterson’s motion calls on the government to look at some guidelines and an appropriate regulatory framework for these technologies. I suggest it probably is about time that we did.