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Wednesday, 9 May 1984
Page: 1788


Senator MACKLIN —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the Senate-

(a) as a matter of national food security, upholds the principle that the seeds and cuttings of plants are a public resource and a common heritage to all and that accordingly, seeds should be freely available to all, freely multipliable, able to be sold, exchanged, exported and imported by anyone who wishes;

(b) recognises that plant breeding is a highly co-operative venture often involving private enterprise at the very last stages after basic seed collection , storage, and research has been publicly funded, and that legislation establishing plant patenting schemes overseas has resulted in the subordination and curtailment of public breeding programs in many countries;

(c) in view of the aforementioned, recognises that any system giving 'property' or ownership rights over seeds to individuals, organisations or enterprises is inappropriate and unjust;

(d) rejects the majority recommendation of the Senate Standing Committee on National Resources on Plant Variety Rights, that 'the Commonwealth consider the introduction of a PVR scheme in Australia'; and

(e) will not support legislation for any scheme which gives exclusive ownership rights over seeds to individuals, organisations or enterprises (unless such legislation in confined only to ornamental varieties).