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Legislation to repeal the Genetically Modified (GM) Crops Free Areas Act is due to be tabled in the WA parliament.
Sources close to the case said they expected the repeal Bill could be tabled in State parliament having passed through cabinet but may not be debated until next February.
The repeal Bill could also be moved as part of an omnibus repeal Bill that may be tabled next week.
WA Food and Agriculture Minister Ken Baston declined to comment on cabinet discussions to Fairfax Agricultural Media but said the WA government was committed to repealing the Act.
“There are several steps required to repeal an Act and we are currently well advanced in terms of working through this process,” he said.
“I believe that the Western Australian grains industry is now sufficiently mature to manage its international markets without the intervention of Government…Once a crop is deemed safe by the Federal regulator, I firmly believe growers should have the choice to plant those crops that most suit their production system.”
Moves to repeal the Act are being pushed by farm groups who fear the legislation could be used by a future Labor government to re-introduce a ban on Genetically Modified crops in WA; especially if they needed the Greens’ support in the Upper House, to form government.
Introduced in 2003, the Act provides the Agriculture Minister with powers to designate areas of the State where GM crops can’t be cultivated, or specific GM crops.
It also gives the minister powers to destroy GM crops and imposes $200,000 penalty for recklessly or knowingly growing the technology in restricted areas.
Read full, original post: GM act repeal set for next week