Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 9 May 2007
Page: 132


Senator SIEWERT (6:04 PM) —Except that there are stronger guidelines in this legislation than in other pieces of legislation that relate to emergency powers—and I would hope so, given that you are potentially releasing an untested, unassessed genetically modified organism into the environment and potentially giving it to humans. I accept that—which is why we are concerned that they still do not go far enough. Yes, they have to seek advice, but we are not entirely convinced that the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator have the necessary experience or expertise to advise on some of the issues that may potentially come up, particularly as they relate to untested or unassessed organisms. They may not have the information to make those assessments. That is why we would like to be provided with further guidance on what basis the Chief Medical Officer, the Chief Veterinary Officer and the Chief Plant Protection Officer, for example, provide advice on the degree of threat around imminence, severity and scale. We do accept that there are strong provisions here; we just do not think they go far enough because of the potential, literally, for disastrous outcomes if it goes wrong.