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Monday, 11 August 2003
Page: 12991

Senator BROWN (Tasmania) (4.02 p.m.)—by leave—I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's 7.30 Report investigation into the planned field trials of a genetically-modified herpes virus to sterilise mice and thereby reduce their numbers,

(ii) that the mouse plague of 1993, which affected much of Victoria and South Australia, cost in the vicinity of $65 million in lost rural production,

(iii) that mouse plagues often follow drought cycles, placing an extra burden on grain growers and users as they are trying to rebuild after drought, and

(iv) that earlier this year, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) advised that the Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus which had been under experimentation by the CSIRO had escaped from CSIRO research facilities in Canberra, and further, that the CSIRO is unsure how and when the virus entered and escaped its facilities; and

(b) calls on the Government not to release genetically-modified materials to sterilise pest species until the Parliament can be assured that other species, including native fauna and Australia's human and livestock populations, are safe from their effects, and to ensure that research quarantine breaches such as that which occurred with Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus at the CSIRO will not happen again.

Question agreed to.