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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 3203 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

There'll be some tests this week, but I'd say, before we change the decision to move to stage 3 restrictions, we would need to go through another period of rain and another period of testing to make sure that we could maybe bring the Corin/Bendora system back. That's a hope that we still have, but I think it still remains a hope rather than a probability. But only time will tell. Otherwise time will not permit the installation of treatment capacity to get us through at the rate we use water in a summertime when there's no rain.

There will be more advice given, but it really does fall to the government to make some decisions-they won't be easy decisions-in relation to maybe some tuning of stage 3; we may not change them at all. But that job is in hand. We're happy to receive input from anybody and constructive suggestions from anybody, because it's a problem we all share and it's a problem we're not looking forward to living through.

With the 20 seconds that were remaining to me, let me inform the Assembly that Floriade will run for 2 weeks in September and 2 weeks in October. There'll be no problem for the first half of Floriade, and I'm sure that either by the trucking of grey water or, depending on what the rules are, access to the lake-Floriade is quite close to the lake-we will be able to make sure that Floriade does flourish and that it brings to the city the visitors and the revenues that it usually does. It's going from strength to strength, and we intend it to continue to do so.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: The discussion has concluded.

Gene Technology Bill 2002

Debate resumed.

MS TUCKER (4.47): Mr Deputy Speaker, you know that the Standing Committee on Health inquired into this bill and presented a report to the Assembly at the end of last year. The government responded in June of this year, and in that response basically disregarded several very important recommendations with only a cursory explanation as to why. And that is really not good enough.

The minister has an opportunity to use his place on the ministerial council to pressure for reform of the regulator, which was pretty well basic to what we were recommending in that committee.

The government did not even properly respond to the recommendation that there be a moratorium on dealings with transgenic organisms. It argued that it was not necessary to establish a broad ACT moratorium. In its argument the government said that it recognised the unease in parts of the community about the use of gene technology; however, it recognised the potential of gene technology to deliver benefits to the environment, the community and the economy through more sustainable and productive agricultural systems with reduced environmental impact and the availability of quality agricultural products at a lower cost or with improved quality.

The government also noted that public health and environmental safety aspects of any GMO proposed to be released into the environment or used in the production of food

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