The decision today by Primary Industries Minister, David Basham, to reject EVERY request by local Councils to prevent genetically-modified crops being grown in their areas, is a cruel hoax that will anger many local communities, according to the Greens Mark Parnell MLC.
Under a deal stitched up between the Liberal and Labor parties earlier this year, local Councils were given 6 months to consult their communities and decide whether or not they want to allow GM crops to be grown in their region.
Many Councils consulted their communities and eleven Councils applied to remain GM-free. All of these applications have now been rejected. This means that whatever new genetically-modified crops might be approved by Federal authorities in the future, they will legally be able to be grown throughout mainland SA, regardless of the wishes of other food producers and the broader community. Despite Councils presenting strong economic evidence of the benefits of staying GM-free, the Government ignored it all.
“Councils in South Australia were led to believe that they would be able to determine their own futures. Now, in a belated Halloween-like “trick”, they have had their hopes cruelly dashed by a Government that is hell-bent on opening all of mainland SA to GM crops, regardless of community views.
“This sham Government process has wasted the time and resources of local councils, who in good faith, consulted with their communities, only to see their hard work thrown back in their faces. Local Councils and their communities know that the future of food marketing both here and overseas is clean, green and natural, not Genetically-modified.
“The Premier now needs to step in to repair the damage done by his Minister and allow local communities to determine their own food futures. It’s not too late.” concluded Mark Parnell.