Proposed Assisted Reproductive Treatment Changes in Victoria

Proposed Assisted Reproductive Treatment Changes in Victoria

In this video Page Provan Director and award-winning surrogacy lawyer, Stephen Page, talks about the proposed ART changes in Victoria.



G’day, Stephen Page from Page Provan Family and Fertility Lawyers and today I’m talking about the proposed ART, or assisted reproductive treatment changes in Victoria. Forever and a day, there has been a regulator of IVF industry in Victoria. Victoria led the way with that nationwide, and in fact, one of the first places in the world.

It started off being called the Infertility Treatment Authority under what was called the Infertility Treatment Act and with the enactment and the commencement in 2010 of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act, that authority went, and that act went.

But instead, we ended up with the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority, a bit of a mouthful, VARTA, and VARTA has been there ever since. VARTA has copped a fair whack of criticism in recent years, and it seems like the Victorian government has listened.

Instead of there being VARTA anymore, what the Victorian government announced last year was that it was bringing the powers of VARTA in-house. There would be a regulator, but it would be, in effect, associated with the Department of Health in Victoria and not have a standard alone.

The lesson with VARTA and the proposed abolition of the Reproductive Technology Council of Western Australia, the other state-based regulator, hasn’t been lost elsewhere. The ACT, with its the Assisted Reproductive Technology Act, which has just been enacted, and I’ve done some videos about that as well.

And Queensland, with its proposed Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill, which is before the House in Queensland, and you see a video about that as well, neither of them have proposed that there be a state-based regulator. Each of them have scrapped that idea.

One of the most significant changes that the Victorian government, is proposing is that VARTA has a veto power on the ability to import or export donor eggs, sperm, or embryos into and out of Victoria, and that’s been problematic. There’s been complaints for a long time by IVF Clinics to me about delays in getting VARTA approval.

It seems as though it’s been quite a bureaucratic process, and there have been layers of regulation imposed, not only under the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act, but also how VARTA sees its role.

So one of the changes that’s proposed is that rather than having this pre-approval process required from VARTA before stuff can be brought in or sent out, and it’s only donor, I just want to point out. So if it’s the party’s own egg, sperm or embryos, there’s not a problem.

But if there’s any donor component, there is this required for approval. That’s now going, or at least being eased up. So what is now being required, is what is being proposed, is a self assessment process, a certification process.

So if you think about how you build your house, in years gone by, way back in the dark ages, you’d always have to apply to the council for approval before you could build your house, and then that all changed. You didn’t need council approval anymore, there was a self-certification process.

You would go off to a certification expert, and they’d have a look over the plans, and then, if necessary, look over the building and say, Yeah, that’s right, to proceed, and yes, that’s been done in compliance with the certification that I gave.

So you don’t need to get council approval anymore for most building work, you just get the certification and that, in essence, is what’s proposed with the change. So a bill hasn’t yet been drafted, or at least it hasn’t been tabled in the Victorian Parliament. I don’t know when these changes are likely to occur, but we’ll see. But they’re certainly moving ahead apace.

So watch this space.

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QLD Parliamentary Submissions ART Bill 2024

Review of Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill 2024 Thank you to the Committee for giving me the opportunity to make a submission. I consent to my submission being published. If asked, I would be honoured to give evidence. Summary I am very happy with the contents of the Bill. I am also very happy with the… Read More »QLD Parliamentary Submissions ART Bill 2024

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