Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

19 August 2014

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Liberal Government delivers on GMO pledge

The Liberal Government is getting on with the job of delivering our long-term plan for Tasmania, including working to achieve our vision of growing the value of our agricultural produce ten-fold by 2050.

Next week's Budget is all about keeping our promises, fixing the budget mess and laying the foundations for the future.

Today, the Liberal Government is fulfilling its commitment to extend the existing moratorium on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Tasmania for five years.  

Importantly, this will provide certainty to our primary industries to further develop markets for our produce, protect our state's brand and support future growth in the food and agricultural sector.

The Genetically Modified Organism Amendment Bill 2014 that I tabled in Parliament this morning takes into account the findings of the comprehensive 2013 review by my Department, which considered 160 public submissions and new market research.

The review demonstrated that there is currently no imperative to change from having a moratorium.

The Liberal Government believes that a five-year moratorium is a common sense approach that strikes an appropriate balance between the needs of today and the possibilities of tomorrow.

Through AgriGrowth Tasmania, we will actively monitor developments in technology, markets and consumer sentiment throughout this period.

A new Tasmanian Gene Technology Policy and associated Gene Technology Guidelines provide the necessary detail on how the moratorium will be implemented.

The policy and the moratorium will be reviewed prior to its expiry in 2019.  

Further information is available from the DPIPWE website: www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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