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Thursday, 30 June 1994
Page: 2518

Senator HARRADINE (8.07 p.m.) —I am not going to carry this debate on any longer, but I just point out to the committee that the wording in this clause says:

For the purposes of this Act, an organism may be treated as constituting a plant grouping within a single botanic taxon despite the fact that the genome of the plants in that plant grouping has been altered by the introduction of genetic material that is not from plants.

What is that genetic material if it is not from plants? It is not going to be inanimate material, I do not think, is it?

Senator Coulter —No, it is not.

Senator HARRADINE —Obviously it is either going to be animals or humans. I took the parliamentary secretary to say was that the resultant organism is therefore not protected by plant breeders' rights. But I thought that is what clause 6 was doing. It does say:

For the purpose of this Act an organism may be treated as constituting a plant.

I really am a bit confused about this.

Senator Coulter —It must be an animal, according to the minister.

Senator HARRADINE —It is either an animal or a human. Under those circumstances, I have no alternative than to vote, as Senator Coulter said, for his amendment. His arguments in respect of fungi and algae were persuasive as well.