Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 3218 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

committee of officials in 2000. For those reasons, quite considered reasons, the government did not agree to that recommendation.

Mr Smyth also made comments about whether the GENHAZ process should be a basic requirement of all licence applications to the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator. GENHAZ is a way of undertaking a risk assessment in relation to the potential application of GMOs. However, it is quite clear that GENHAZ is not the best methodology to be used in all circumstances.

It was developed in Britain in 1991 as an inductive risk assessment method. Since that time it has not been widely used. In Australia it has been used by a commercial arm of the Pest Animal Control Cooperative Research Centre, located at CSIRO's sustainable ecosystems precinct in Canberra, and its advice has been that it is not a suitable process to apply to all types of applications which go to the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator. On that basis, the government has taken the decision not to accept that recommendation. (Extension of time granted.)

Mr Smyth also raised, if I recall correctly, the issue of the government not agreeing to recommendation 13, which is the recommendation that clause 72A be withdrawn from the ACT bill and replaced with a reference to the Gene Technology (Licence Charges) Act or that alternative legislation be introduced. The government did not agree to this recommendation, Mr Speaker, because it believes, based on the advice it has received, that it would simply be a case of there not being a corresponding law. It would not be of benefit to the territory or, indeed, to the proper regulation of GMO organisms in the territory if we were not part of the national regulatory framework.

The issue of the precautionary principle was also raised and I have addressed that already. The government's response is considered and comprehensive. We are conscious of the issue of the precautionary principle, which I understand is the key issue that Ms Tucker is going to raise. We think it is already well embedded in the legislation which was passed at the Commonwealth level and which our legislation abides by. Mr Speaker, I commend the bill to the Assembly. I foreshadow that the government has a number of minor technical amendments that have been brought to my attention by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel since the bill was introduced. They are not substantive or policy in nature, but simply seek to clarify some operations of the proposed law.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clause 1.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .