Call for GM inquiry ‘real farm’ tour
The parliamentary committee investigating compensation for crop contamination by genetically modified grain has come under fire for turning down an invitation to visit a “real farm” and harvest segregation facilities at a CBH bin.
The Midwest Times understands the WAFarmers, Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA and CBH invited the five-person group to tour a farm and CBH bin in March as part of the inquiry hearings.
Each of the groups has spoken against the proposed compensation scheme, which could come in the form of an additional seed levy.
Former PGA grains committee chairman John Snooke, who represented PGA at the hearing, said he was disappointed no committee members had taken up the offer.
“The invitation was extended at the inquiry . . . we just wanted to make it very clear that it is sometimes difficult to have conversations around co-existence protocols and the CBH segregation system in the city,” he said.
“Essentially, how people who have no knowledge of these processes upskill their knowledge is by going to a farm and visiting CBH.
“If city-based politicians are making decisions and don’t have an understanding of those processes, then they are not informed.”
WAFarmers grains section president Duncan Young and Mr Snooke said the offer to visit a grain farm still stood. CBH declined to comment. Labor MLC and committee chairman Matthew Swinbourne would not comment on the record, saying the committee expected to deliver its report early next year.
The inquiry, triggered by a FoodWatch WA petition tabled by Greens MLC Diane Evers, is looking into compensation mechanisms for GM contamination.