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Wednesday, 9 May 2007
Page: 131

Senator McLUCAS (5:58 PM) —If the debate has concluded between Senator Siewert and Senator Mason, I should indicate that Labor will not be supporting the amendments moved by the Greens—that is, amendments (2) and (3) on the sheet we are dealing with. The condition that the bill requires, which I think is particularly relevant here, is that the states and territories will be consulted before these emergency provisions are enacted. That gives me some comfort that, if someone spills a can of oil, we are not going to release a whole heap of GMOs. There is going to be a proper process of analysis, finding out, and doing the balancing act. We will have answers to questions such as: is the loss of the Great Barrier Reef a bigger risk when compared to that of the release of these GMOs, given they have been tested in these ways? I feel confident that the sort of decision-making processes that would be applied in that circumstance, which I certainly hope will never have to be contemplated, are in place in the legislation. We also note that the states and territories agree with the guidelines as have been tabled. I want to put that on the record.