Ethical issues have been critical to the Australian policy debate about hES cells and therapeutic cloning. The deliberative process and the political negotiation between state premiers and the Prime Minister have produced compromise legislation that bans reproductive and therapeutic cloning while allowing limited research on hES cells extracted from surplus IVF embryos. Despite conflicting views on the morality of hES cell research, there appears to be majority support for hES cell research on IVF surplus embryos. The community seems to have been persuaded that it should be allowed because of the possibility it holds of developing effective treatments for hitherto untreatable conditions. There is as near as one gets to a consensus in favour of a ban on reproductive cloning in Australia. This is in the absence of agreement on the reasons why reproductive cloning should be prohibited. Opinion is much more divided on SCNT and therapeutic cloning. A moratorium on SCNT seems a reasonable compromise in the circumstances but it is likely to become a de facto prohibition because of the political difficulty in repealing a law that prohibits it on pain of criminal penalties.