When Parliament resumes on 28th April, the Legislative Council is set to again support a Greens motion to disallow Government Regulations that lifted the GM crops moratorium on mainland SA. If successful, the ban on GM crops will be reinstated for a third time.
The Government has deliberately used delaying tactics for the last month to prevent Parliament from voting on this issue, but now the Regulations have been tabled the writing is on the wall that moratorium will be back in place later this month.
This means that farmers considering growing GM canola this season need to know that until Parliament properly debates the issue, the legality or otherwise of GM crops is still uncertain.
“By deliberately delaying the SA Parliament from scrutinising his executive decision to lift the GM crops moratorium, after they’ve already voted three times to keep it, Minister Whetstone has again shown his contempt for not only Parliament, but for the people of South Australia and our democratic processes” said Greens MLC Mark Parnell.
“It will be nearly two months from the time he last lifted the moratorium at the start of March, before the Parliament will have the opportunity to vote to reinstate the moratorium for a third time.
“At a time when Steven Marshall’s Liberal Government is calling for unprecedented cooperation and trust during the Coronavirus crisis, the behaviour of his Minister for Primary Industries in undermining our democracy is instead generating suspicion and distrust. Premier Marshall needs to pull his Minister into line.
“The Greens have consistently maintained that consideration of detailed legislation that includes protection for the vast bulk of farmers who have no interest in growing GM crops, is the proper way to handle this issue. There are two Bills currently before Parliament and these can enable proper debate. The Government just need to have the guts to debate it.
“By continuing to lift the moratorium through exective powers, all Minister Whetstone is achieving is a climate of uncertainty for South Australian farmers and the wider community.
“It’s time for Minister Whetstone to respect the decision of the SA Parliament to keep our GM crops moratorium and stop unilaterally reimposing his pro-GM and pro big business agenda on South Australians. When the Regulations are disallowed later this month, the Minister needs to accept the verdict of Parliament and not continue to play games.” concluded Mr Parnell.