Public consultation session – 30 March 2019

The Review is holding a consultation to hear your experiences with assisted reproductive treatment (ART) and your views on the Review's ideas for improvements. The Review is preparing its final report by the end of April so this is an opportunity to have your say on how to improve ART in Victoria.

This consultation is for both intended and current parents, previous patients, donors, surrogates, and persons born of ART. There will be no representatives of the industry (that is, no clinic staff or representatives will be there, nor will any representative from VARTA). There will be different ways in which you can provide your story or feedback when you are there, so you do not have to speak in front of anyone if you would prefer not to.

Map featuring the location of the Hawthorn Arts Centre, and available parking nearby.When: Saturday 30 March, 10.30am to 1.30pm
Where: Hawthorn Arts Centre, 360 Burwood Road Hawthorn

Tea, coffee and lunch will be provided.

Additionally, the Review has hired KidzKlub Australia to provide childcare to anyone attending who requires it. Kidzklub Australia is comprised of trained professionals (including teachers, teachers in training, and childcare workers) with first aid certificates and Working With Children checks. There are minimum ratios of staff to children, and a minimum of 2 staff at all times regardless of how small the group is. Kidzklub Australia can cater for children and babies of all ages, and if appropriately forewarned, will have the equipment necessary to care for newborns and babies as well as older children. Kidzklub Australia will provide activities and entertainment for the children for the duration of the consultation (this might be, for example, art or music activities, movies, books or dress ups). Lunch will also be provided for the children attending. The childcare will be in a separate room to the consultation but within the same building at the Hawthorn Arts Centre. Kidzklub can cater for children and babies of all ages, and if appropriately forewarned, will have the equipment necessary to care for newborns and babies as well as older children.

All public areas of the Hawthorn Arts Centre are fully wheelchair accessible, and guide and companion dogs are welcome throughout the venue.

Public parking is available at the rear of the venue, accessible from Kent St or Oxley Road. This parking is not exclusive to the venue. Additionally, Hawthorn Arts centre is close to both trams (Routes 16, 70 and 75, in order of distance) and trains (Glenferrie Station, Alamein/Belgrave/Lilydale lines).

If you would like to attend, or know of someone who would like to attend, please let Rebekah McDonald know by Wednesday 20 March on 0400 681 260 or rebekah.mcdonald@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

We will need:

  • the names of attendees
  • the names and ages of children attending
  • any food preferences, allergies or intolerances
  • any accessibility requirements

We have room for 70 people to attend this consultation. There will be other methods of contributing if the maximum number of attendees is reached.

It is really important to the Review to hear from the people who are using and most impacted by the services. We greatly appreciate your participation.

Background

On 6 April 2018 the Minister for Health announced the appointment of Mr Michael Gorton AM to undertake a 12 month review of the Victorian regulatory framework for assisted reproductive treatment.

In announcing the review, the Minister acknowledged that since the last review of laws governing assisted reproductive treatment in 2007, technology, community attitudes and supply and demand for treatment have evolved significantly.

Some of the issues to be considered by the review relate to whether:

  • There are adequate safeguards to protect consumers using or intending to use assisted reproductive treatment services
  • The regulatory framework remains appropriate within an evolving market for assisted reproductive treatment
  • The evolving market and regulatory framework have implications for access and affordability of assisted reproductive treatment services
  • The framework creates or enablers unnecessary barriers to access for LGBTI people
  • There are adequate protections against discrimination for people seeking treatment on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, race or religion.

The review will be informed by a public consultation process.

Consultation paper released

A consultation paper has been developed to help shape this consultation. You can access the consultation paper from health.vic's publications library, or via the Engage Victoria website.

The paper seeks the views of anyone with ideas, knowledge or experience relevant to the review. We want to hear about issues related to access to and the delivery of services, and how the current regulatory framework for assisted reproductive treatment can be improved.

Consultation process

A consultation paper was released on 22 August 2018 to guide the consultation. The consultation paper was distributed broadly to service providers, relevant peak bodies, academics, professional groups, consumer organisations, advocates and regulators. Direct emails were sent by the Review team to key stakeholders and the assistance of services and peak bodies was sought to ensure even broader distribution. The consultation paper was also made available to the general public on this website and the Engage Victoria website.

The consultation period was open from 22 August to 24 September 2018. Stakeholders were invited to provide a formal response to any, or all, of the questions posed in the consultation paper and/or to complete a short survey on the Engage Victoria website. 

Forty written submissions were received in response to the consultation paper, released in August 2018, and there were 191 responses to the survey. 

Additionally, the Review held approximately 40 meetings involving more than 120 stakeholders between July and September 2018.

Further targeted consultations will be held in the lead up to the final report. 

Interim Report released

The consultation feedback received to date has informed the Interim Report. 

Stakeholder feedback given touched on many facets of the key issues identified in the Review’s terms of reference, including: discrimination, access, affordability, the adequacy of safeguards, and the appropriateness of the regulatory framework.

The Interim Report presents preliminary findings in relation to a number of key policy areas.

In some cases, it has been possible to make clear recommendations at this early stage, while in others the Report presents issues that require further exploration before a recommended response can be proposed. 

Where possible, the Interim Report flags likely directions and/or areas where further targeted consultation will be undertaken over coming months to test ideas with the community or gather further intelligence in order to identify a way forward. 

You can access the Interim Report via the health.vic publication or the Engage Victoria website.

Terms of reference for the review

For more information, visit the review's terms of reference page.

Ministerial announcement

Read the Minister’s press release announcing the review via the Premier's website.

Contact us

If you are interested in the review of assisted reproductive treatment, please email your name and contact details to: art.review@dhhs.vic.gov.au.