Farmers on mainland South Australia will have the choice to grow genetically modified crops from January 1 after the Marshall Liberal Government today introduced new regulations.
The move will allow South Australian farmers to make decisions ahead of the 2020 growing season and give them more tools to grow the economy and create jobs.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said farmers had twice been denied this choice by the Labor Party and SA Best playing petty politics.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is standing with our farmers to lift the GM moratorium on mainland South Australia and as such we have today introduced new regulations which come into effect on January 1,” said Minister Whetstone.
“What we’ve seen from Peter Malinauskas, the Labor Party and SA Best is a complete disregard for South Australian farmers and our regional communities.
“When we first introduced regulations the Labor Party and SA Best made the petty excuse that they didn’t agree with the process and that legislation should be introduced.
“The State Government did exactly that and inexplicably the Labor/SA Best alliance voted against the legislation to again show they are not the farmers’ friend.
“It is time for Peter Malinauskas to get with the program, stop being a destructive-style opposition leader and start actually listening to the people of South Australia.
“For 15 long years our farmers and research scientists have suffered under a moratorium which has cost real money, denied progress and put a handbrake on our economy.
“Lifting the GM crop moratorium will give our farmers the same opportunities as farmers in our neighbouring states which will increase productivity and create jobs.
“Our decision to lift the GM crop moratorium followed extensive industry and community consultation, as well as the findings of the high-level independent expert review undertaken by Professor Kym Anderson and the recommendations of the GM Crop Advisory Committee.
“The independent review found that the so-called price premiums for being GM-free were a myth and the moratorium has cost South Australian grain growers at least $33 million since 2004 and will cost farmers at least a further $5 million if extended to 2025.
“Our farmers are also being denied the extra tools such as new and improved future crop varieties to help them deal with drought and tackle climate change.”