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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 April 2008) . . Page.. 1067 ..

legislation as corresponding. A key part of this bill is to try to establish a nationally consistent regime for this type of research—one which many believe is the best way forward—and not have different research conditions or different types of research allowed in different jurisdictions. I will not be supporting Mrs Dunne’s amendment.

Question put:

That amendments Nos 1 and 3 be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 4

Noes 8

Mrs Burke

Mr Barr

Ms Gallagher

Mrs Dunne

Mr Berry

Mr Gentleman

Mr Mulcahy

Mr Corbell

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Smyth

Dr Foskey

Ms MacDonald

Question so resolved in the negative.

Amendments negatived.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.58): I seek leave to move amendments Nos 2 and 4 circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.

MRS DUNNE: I move amendments Nos 2 and 4 circulated in my name together [see schedule 1 at page 1160].

Amendments 2 and 4 will make it an offence to create or develop a hybrid embryo. At the moment, as things stand clause 16 makes it an offence to create a hybrid embryo but clause 22A makes it possible to do so if you have a licence; it then becomes possible to develop that hybrid embryo for 14 days.

I listened with interest to the debate in the in-principle stage when some members touched upon this. I found it interesting that people who had previously stated that they were unhappy about the creation of embryos for the purposes of research could somehow be comfortable with the creation of a human-animal hybrid for the purposes of research. Dr Foskey—I hope I am not misrepresenting her—seemed to think that it was possibly all right because it would mitigate the need to conduct scientific research on animals. That leaves me a little at a loss.

If we do manage to create a human embryo hybrid, I am not quite sure what sort of status that will have in the hierarchy of things between lesser non-sentient animals and human beings. But I would think that, just by the mere presence of human DNA, it would be some sort of higher being than the non-sentient animal from which the DNA might have been derived. I am sure Dr Foskey will be able to speak further on that subject.

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