Is the engagement open to everyone, or only primary producers?
This engagement is open to anyone with an interest. However, given the Minister's focus on trade and marketing implications of GM crops we will focusing our engagement on that, so we are particularly interested in hearing from people involved in primary production activities and food processing or manufacturing activities within our region.
While all of the feedback collected will be summarised in a report to elected members for consideration, we will be separating what we hear by stakeholders and to focus on any input that relates to trade and marketing.
Will Council be deciding whether or not Adelaide Hills Council will have GM crops?
No, Council does not have the power to decide to be a GM-free area. This decision sits solely with the state government, and more specifically the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development (Hon Tim Whetstone MP).
Councils can make a request to the Minister that he designate their city as a non-GM crop area, but the final decision sits with the Minister.
When making his decision the Minister will only consider evidence related to the trade and marketing impact of GM crops.
What are the roles of the various levels of government?
The laws governing genetic modification and how genetically modified organisms (GMOs) - including crops - are produced, transported, processed, marketed and consumed are administered by several different parts of government.
At a federal or commonwealth level, the public health and safety of GMOs is overseen by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator. GM food products are also regulated federally by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.
Agricultural trade and marketing matters are primarily a state government responsibility under the Australian Constitution, overseen by Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA).
Until now, local government has had no specific role to play. Council’s role in this process is to undertake a clear, impartial process to decide whether to make an application to be designated a non-GM cop area. If Council chooses to make an application, it will be most effective if based on sound evidence from the sectors of our community that will be directly impacted either way on trade and marketing matters.
The final decision on whether GM crops will be permitted in Onkaparinga will be decided by the state government (the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development).
What crops are affected by this GM legislation change?
The GM legislation affects all crops. We understand that canola is one of the few crops likely to be cultivated in South Australia in the short term, however over time there may be other GM crops cultivated, such as wheat, and possibly fruit and vegetables.
Will my feedback be published publicly?
Feedback will be collated and presented in a report to Council which will be publicly available.
What's the last day to have my say?
Feedback must be provided by Wednesday 26 August 2020.