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Labor will move to make new gene regulator more transparent.

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Alan Griffin - Labor Will Move To Make New Gene Regulator More Transparent Thursday, 28 June 2001

Labor Will Move To Make New Gene Regulator More Transparent Alan Griffin - Parliamentary Secretary for the Shadow Minister for Health

Media Statement - 27 June 2001

Claims by the Howard Government that the new Office of the Gene Technology Regulator is more transparent than the old system are a farce. There is even less public information on some field trials available this week than there was on the old website last week, Mr Alan Griffin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Minister for Health said today.

"Just a few days after the Howard Government was spruiking the transparency of the new Gene Regulator, public information sheets providing a range of information about field trials were removed from the former website and in some cases were replaced with less information, in others there is yet to be any replacement," Mr Griffin said.

Old information sheets contained information such as:

postal address of the applicant, ● contact person with telephone details, ● dates of releases and completions of trials, ● trial sizes; and ●

on some occasions certain location details. ●

This depth of information is no longer available on the new information sheets on the OGTR website.

"What the OGTR has essentially done is provide the minimum amount of information required by the new legislation - this is not satisfactory and is certainly not in the spirit of providing open, transparent regulation.

"Unless the OGTR agrees that at the very least it will provide the same information that was available to Australians just last week, Labor will take steps to address the issue in the Parliament.

"One option that is being considered is to work with the minor parties to block the Gene Technology Regulations in the Senate in the next session.

"The Australian public deserves to be given what was promised by this legislation and by the Howard Government - that is real openness and transparency," Mr Griffin said. Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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