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Thursday, 30 June 1994
Page: 2527

Senator COULTER (9.15 p.m.) —I move:

Clause 64, page 37, paragraph (1)(c), omit "producers" (twice occurring) substitute "farmers".

Clause 54 refers to the membership of the advisory committee. We are seeking here to include farmers as a representative on the advisory committee. I hope that Senator Panizza will see the wisdom of that move, particularly in view of some discussion earlier today when people were talking about the possibility of farmers actually being in a position of plant breeders. I am not aware that farmers have yet taken on that role but they may well do so.

  Certainly, it is farmers who are on the receiving end of these varieties and, as one of the principal or intermediate consumers of these varieties, they should have some representation on the advisory committee. Paragraph 1(c) of clause 64, states:

One member who, in the opinion of the Minister, is an appropriate person to represent producers, and likely producers, of new plant varieties;

That wording refers to the producers of the plant varieties, but we believe that that person should be a farmer representative—somebody who actually uses those varieties. Such a person should, very appropriately, be a member of the advisory committee.