Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (17:22): I am very pleased that this bill has finally made it to this house. I have to say it was nine months ago—almost exactly, which is a lovely coincidence—that I put the amendment up to remove the police checks from this legislation, and as the minister said at the time, this was going to happen and it was going to happen quickly—and nine months later we are seeing it happen. I am actually very pleased about this.
I must say: in listening to Ms Maxwell previously my heart rate had started going up, and I must say I was feeling very troubled by this notion that the people seeking IVF would somehow be deviant and that they would be out there to harm children. Having had close personal experience, as I am sure many of us have, with the trials and tribulations of IVF, we know how much those parents desperately want those children and how they are in many ways more planned—and I am not going to say more wanted than when a natural childbirth occurs, but certainly the planning and the desire for that child is quite a different process than it is when someone is lucky enough to be able to fall pregnant naturally.
Going along the path of argument that you had there, Ms Maxwell, will I not be surprised if we are looking for police checks of anyone who is pregnant? I do not think it is ridiculous, if we are saying that with IVF we have to be concerned that some people may be having IVF for nefarious and desperate and terrible purposes, as you mentioned, to not suggest that you would not say that would be across the board then. But I will not dwell on this because I think it is a happy moment that this legislation—this bill—is finally coming to this house and is finally here to pass.
We know that even though the Gorton review felt that this was outside the scope of the review they did note that this was the most mentioned issue by the clinics, by the people that were interviewed and by the stakeholders as part of that report and as part of that review. The fact that we would establish a presumption against treatment I think really was shameful. I did not talk about this anecdote when we were discussing this last time, but certainly someone I am aware of did have a criminal record—not a significant one, but a criminal record—and the stress that that caused that family waiting to see if they could have a child because of a historical past conviction was cruel.
It was cruel, it was unnecessary, and I am very pleased that no-one else will have to go through this as a result of this bill. We are the only state that has had this remnant in our legislation and I am very pleased to see that this legislation will finally remove almost that presumption of guilt for someone seeking IVF, that presumption that we do not quite trust them, unlike anyone who could have a child naturally. There we would trust them implicitly, but because they require our assistance there is this level of distrust in that person. Certainly when we were debating this last August I spoke to many people about the pain and trauma that that did cause, so I am very pleased to see this bill, some nine months after the Reason Party first put up its amendments, coming through this house. I very happily commend it to the house.