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Thursday, 30 June 1994
Page: 2530


Senator COULTER (9.38 p.m.) —The explanation just given is totally inconsistent with everything that has been said before. We have dealt with other sections of the act. If the species is covered by plant breeders' rights—and presumably these things are covered by plant breeders' rights—that material can be used only for purposes which are clearly specified. Given that degree of protection, we have been assured that, provided that protection is in place and is not breached by commercialisation by other people, for ordinary, everyday purposes or for scientific purposes that genetic material will be available.

  We have been assured of all those things, and yet in this section we are told that there is a variety which might contain important genetic material which is protected by plant breeders' rights; nonetheless, it will not be available to geneticists, other plant breeders and so on for scientific or other non-commercial purposes. That flies in the face of everything else that we have been told about this legislation. In fact, it is getting very close to the full protection of patency.