GREENS MOTION: Greens win vote to reinstate GM crops moratorium on mainland SA for third time

Today the Greens' motion to disallow the Government's Regulations that lifted the moratorium on growing GM crops on mainland SA from 5 March 2020 passed in the Upper House.  This is the third time an identical Greens' motion has been passed.  It was supported by Labor Opposition and SA-Best and opposed by the Liberal Government.


That the regulations made under the Genetically Modified Crops Management Act 2004 concerning Designation of Area, No. 3, made on 5 March 2020 and laid on the table of this council on 8 April 2020, be disallowed.

The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: This is the third time this council has considered an identical motion. The issues have been canvassed many times before. The issues fall into two categories: there is the merits or otherwise of genetically modified crops and then there is the issue that has convinced this council on the previous two occasions to disallow these regulations, and that is that the use of regulations to make such a fundamental shift, as should properly be done by legislation, is inappropriate and therefore we have seen even people who might be sympathetic to the government's agenda supporting the disallowance motion.

From my conversations with colleagues, I expect that the result will be exactly the same today. The issue of the moratorium on the growing of GM crops should properly be dealt with by the parliament with a bill. We know that from yesterday a bill has passed the lower house and we will be getting that bill shortly, and that is the appropriate mechanism to deal with whether or not the moratorium should be lifted and under what circumstances. These regulations are an inappropriate use of executive power. I have said before that I think they display an arrogance and a contempt for the legislative process, and my understanding is that the numbers today are the same as they have been in the past.

There are four speakers. I will not say any more now but I reserve the right in summing-up. If any of those speakers say anything which I believe needs to be addressed I might say a few more words then but otherwise I commend the motion to the chamber.


The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: As I alluded to before, I reserve the right to correct egregious errors of fact or mistakes, but the Hon. David Ridgway has been more temperate than normal, so I do not feel any great need to add any further information. The majority of the members of this chamber have made their views clear: they do not believe that regulations are the appropriate vehicle to achieve what the government wants to do, so I am confident that, when this is put to a vote very shortly, these regulations will be disallowed.

Motion carried.