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Thursday, 30 June 1994
Page: 2526

Senator COULTER (9.09 p.m.) —by leave—I move:

3.Clause 26, page 13, after paragraph (2)(e) insert the following paragraph:

"(ea)a statement of the essential characteristics of the plant variety; and".

10.Clause 22, page 11, omit subclause (3).

11.Clause 63, page 37, omit subparagraph (2)(a)(ii).

Amendment 10 is to clause 22 on page 11, and this is the clause which relates to the period for which the variety may be protected. Subclause 22(3) states:

  The regulations may provide that a PBR in a plant variety included within a specified taxon lasts for a longer period than is specified in subsection (2).

Subsection (2) sets out the particular periods of time. It is our understanding that it is specified under UPOV that a protection should be for a specified period. One could, I suppose, argue that the extension of the period of 20 years, or, as stated in subclauses 2(a) and (b), 25 years in the case of trees and vines, might be for a further specified period. Nonetheless, it is not at all clear with that sort of wording that a succession of extensions would not amount to an unspecified period. Therefore, if the government wants to fulfil the UPOV convention, it is in fact in breach of that agreement because it then becomes an unspecified period because there is a series of extensions.

  It would seem to the Democrats that this provision in subclause 22(3) so changes the period that it potentially becomes an unspecified period and, therefore, is not in conformity with the international agreement. The other clauses to which I refer in the other amendments are again dependent clauses in relation to this particular matter.