QUEENSLAND Catholic MP Ronan Lee is helping to lead the charge to scuttle state legislation on embryonic stem cell research.
The legislation, which is expected to be presented to Parliament soon, possibly as early as this week, will seek to ratify Commonwealth legislation passed in December.
It will mirror the legislation adopted federally which allowed research on excess IVF embryos.
Mr Lee, who is the Labor Member for Indooroopilly, has been lobbying other state MPs to reject legislation on embryonic stem cell research.
‘In Queensland, we don’t need to have the blood of potentially tens of thousands of embryos on our hands,’ he said.
He said State Parliament could reject the legislation and make it incredibly difficult for the Federal Government to force it on Queensland.
A spokesman for Premier Peter Beattie said MPs would be allowed a conscience vote.
Dr Warwick Neville, who has advised and acted on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference on stem cell research legislation, said the Federal Government had reached agreement with the states about passing back-up legislation necessary for the federal bill.
Dr Neville said that, if the legislation in the Queensland Parliament was rejected, in theory someone from Queensland could mount a High Court challenge to the Commonwealth legislation.
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