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New members for Australian Biotech Council.



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Media Release The Hon Ian Macfarlane, MP

18 July 2006

NEW MEMBERS FOR AUSTRALIAN BIOTECH COUNCIL Australian Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, has today announced the appointment of four new members to the Australian Biotechnology Advisory Council (ABAC).

"ABAC plays an important role in providing independent expert advice to the Government on high-priority issues influencing the adoption of biotechnology in Australia," Mr Macfarlane said.

"The new appointees are all experts in their fields and are highly regarded within the international biotechnology community. The mix of skills will ensure ABAC continues to provide quality, scientific advice to the Government."

The new appointees are:

Professor Linda Blackall, Research Director of the Environmental Biotechnology Cooperative Research Centre. She is one of the country’s top microbiologists with a research focus in the area of wastewater management.

Dr Jonathan Izant, Executive Director of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at QUT. A member of the NHMRC's Human Genetics Advisory Committee, he brings expertise in research commercialisation.

Mr John Lush, a farmer and well known Grains Industry leader. He is a past president of the Grains Council of Australia, the South Australian Farmers' Federation and the Crop Science Society of South Australia.

Dr Peter Riddles, former Deputy CEO of IMBcom, founder and past president of AusBiotech. He is a current member of the Queensland Biotechnology Advisory Council and on the board of several biotech firms.

In welcoming the new members, Mr Macfarlane also thanked five retiring members - Dr Deborah Rathjen, Professor John Hearn, Mr Hugh Roberts, Professor Peter Andrews and Dr Julia Playford - for their valuable work.

“Their contributions and insight have been pivotal to furthering the development of Australia’s biotechnology sector and I look forward to the good work in this exciting field being continued,” Mr Macfarlane said.

Media contact: Kirsty Boazman, (02) 6277 7580 or 0412 171 444.