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Thursday, 30 June 1994
Page: 2529


Senator COULTER (9.30 p.m.) —I move:

13.Clause 19, page 10, omit subclause (11).

This amendment relates to subclause (11) of clause 19, the question of public access to all varieties. This proposed section rather puzzles me. The overall section comes under `Reasonable public access to plant varieties covered by PBR', and subclause (11) is an exclusion. It says:

This section does not apply in relation to a plant variety in respect of which the Secretary certifies, in writing, at the time of the grant . . . that he or she is satisfied that plants of that variety have no direct use as a consumer product.

If the variety has no use as a consumer product, I find it extremely difficult to see why an exclusion would be necessary. I do not know why somebody would seek to get a plant breeder's right over a plant that has no direct use as a consumer product. I just wonder whether there is not some hidden trick in this subclause which we are not aware of. I ask the parliamentary secretary to explain this, because if there is some hidden trick, I suspect that it might be rather nasty.