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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 691 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator. This was raised when the bill was debated in the Senate. However, there seem to be no real facts as to the costs to the federal government or, indeed, to the ACT government.

There are questions about what the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator would delegate to a territory agency under clause 29 of the bill. It is uncertain what is required from the territory, which agency it will be and what this will cost. I still have questions about whether the Minister for Health is the correct minister to take part in these ministerial councils. I understand that the other territory and states are sending agriculture or environment ministers. Further, I wish to find out more information on whether the executive has the expertise at its disposal to deal with the important writing of regulations for notifiable low-risk dealings with GMOs.

Finally, I would like to have investigated the role of the office of the regulator and its ability to declare information as confidential commercial information. It is true that this area is a commercially lucrative area of research and development, but community confidence is reliant on the ability of the community to access accurate information. If the regulator is reliant on commercial facilities paying licence fees, that may cause a conflict of interest and we may wish this to be investigated.

I conclude by wishing the inquiry well and look forward to a thorough investigation of the issues that I have raised today.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Estimates 2001-02-Select Committee

MR HARGREAVES (10.59): Mr Speaker, as deputy chair of the committee on this appropriation bill, I seek leave to move a motion on behalf of the chair of the committee, Mr Humphries.

Leave granted.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I move:

That the resolution of the Assembly on 19 February 2002 appointing a select committee on Estimates 2001-02 be amended as follows:

(1) paragraph 1, add "and the Bill be referred to that Committee"

(2) paragraph (4) omit "the committee", substitute "if the Committee has completed its inquiry before 9 April 2002, the Committee is authorised".

I will be very brief. This is a machinery motion intended to address an inadvertent error in the setting of an inquiry date. This is purely machinery. Members of the chamber have been advised of this machinery correction, and I seek the approval of the Assembly to proceed.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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