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Thursday, 5 December 2002
Page: 7238

Senator HARRADINE (10:03 AM) —We are moving on to a later clause, are we not?

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Sandy Macdonald)—This is a different clause but it is in this block of amendments.

Senator HARRADINE —I am saying that we need to express our views on the clauses that come before the next amendment. I am strongly opposing clause 30 of the bill.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —You can speak to that now, Senator Harradine.

Senator HARRADINE —I am attempting to do so. This is commercial-in-confidence information and may be disclosed only in certain circumstances. This caps it all off! What happens? You do not get the information and then what information you do get will of course be subject to a statement saying that commercial-in-confidence information may be disclosed only in certain circumstances. That is it. Yesterday the Senate by a narrow majority opposed an amendment that was put forward to prevent patenting of these life forms. That was defeated, and now this is the cap. Here it is again: commercial information prevails. I have never heard the Labor Party supporting such a provision in this place—the confidentiality of commercial information. I have had run-ins with employers when they have sought to hide behind commercial-in-confidence information in certain areas which affect employees. I know the government is not going to take any notice, and the ALP are probably supporting the government to prevent information coming to the public because of confidential commercial information considerations. Almost all applications will have this confidential commercial information—it cannot be given out to the public. I see no point in proceeding with this. This is the cap. I oppose clause 30 in the following terms:

(10) Clause 30, page 20 (line 21) to page 22 (line 6), TO BE OPPOSED.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —The question is that clause 30 stand as printed.

Question agreed to.