Last week, the Western Australian Legislative Assembly agreed to the Second Reading of the Genetically Modified Crops Free Areas Bill 2003 (WA). The Bill seeks to repeal the Generically Modified Crops Free Areas Act 2003 (WA). Currently all of WA, apart from two statutory exemptions, cannot grow new genetically modified crops, despite the crops having been approved by the Australian Office of the Gene Technology Regulator. This regulatory barrier is affecting the competitiveness of Western Australian industry by supporting less efficient farming systems relative to elsewhere in Australia. This is said to be impacting on productivity, with flow on impacts in regional communities. Removal of this market barrier imposed by the Genetically Modified Crops Free Areas Act 2003 will allow WA access to approved genetically modified crops.
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