Clone a Human, Get $500,000

                  says Aussie State Premier (copy and paste links into your browser)


By Hilary White

SYDNEY, August 20, 2007 ( – Premier Morris Lemma, Premier of the state of New South Wales, has offered a grant of $500,000 to the first researchers to successfully create Australia’s first cloned human beings.

This June, the state parliament of New South Wales voted to overturn the previous ban on creating cloned humans for research. The lower house voted 65-26 to instate cloning with the strict “ethical” proviso that the embryos would be killed and harvested for stem cells thus never allowed to come to term.

Lemma also promised a special $11.5 million fund to develop cloning and embryonic stem cell research in the state.
“Put simply, this funding will enable NSW scientists to undertake work we hope will result in the creation of the country's first stem-cell lines derived from somatic-cell nuclear transfer embryos. In fact, if successful it could well be a world first,” he said.

The new legislation, put forward by Iemma, also allows the creation of human/animal hybrids, the creation of embryos from more than two donors and the use of ova from aborted baby girls to create embryos in the lab.

The Australian government has attempted to silence principled opposition to the legislation. Archbishop Hickey of Perth was placed under a parliamentary investigation when he said politicians voting in favour of the legislation are acting against the teaching of the Church and ought to refrain from receiving Communion.

Fred Riebeling, the speaker of the West Australian legislative assembly, called the statement a “threat” and said he wanted to question the archbishop before an investigative committee. The Australian reported that Archbishop Hickey can expect a formal reprimand but is unlikely to be questioned by a Parliamentary committee.

West Australian Attorney-General Jim McGinty said it was "fundamental that you cannot threaten or intimidate a member of parliament as to the way in which they'll vote on a particular issue".

Read Related coverage:

Cardinal George Pell May Withhold Communion From New South Wales Premier Over Cloning

Australian Archbishop Under Investigation for Telling Anti-Life Catholic Politicians not to Receive Communion ;