Is the consultation open to everyone, or only primary producers?

    This consultation is open to anyone with an interest.  However, given the Minister's focus on trade and marketing implications of GM crops we will be focussing our engagement on that, so we are particularly interested in hearing from people involved in primary production, food processing, manufacturing and exporting 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 to focus on any input that relates to trade and marketing.

    Will Council be deciding whether or not Mount Barker 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 Council area 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 it is 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 Mount Barker will be decided by the state government (the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development).

    What GM crops are currently available for commercial cultivation in Australia?

    GM Canola and Cotton are the only two varieties of GM Crop available for commercial cultivation in Australia.

    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 there be another opportunity to apply for GM Free Status?

    No - the window to apply for GM Free status closes in November and this is the only chance councils will be given to seek such a designation.  

    Will my feedback be published publicly?

    Feedback will be collated and presented in a report to Council which will be publicly available. 

    SURVEYS: We will not identify individual responses, unless you give us permission to include quotes from your survey. If you prefer you can choose for your response to remain anonymous*.

    WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS: For any feedback received by email or a letter from an individual, unless you specify otherwise your full submission may be provided to Council with any personal information redacted (hidden)* apart from your name and suburb.

    For any feedback received by email or letter from an organisation your full submission may be provided to Council unless you specify otherwise*.

    *We will endeavour to keep your details private, however under the Freedom of Information Act 1991 it is possible that we may be required by law to make your full submission/survey details public.

    How can I have my say?

    You can:

    Complete the online survey  form on this page

    Email your feedback to

    Send a letter or hard copy feedback form to GM Free Consultation,
    PO 54 Mount Barker  SA   5251

    What are the next steps after consultation closes?

    Council will review all feedback received from the community. The feedback will be collated into a report and will influence the recommendations put to Council on this matter. If the sentiment is in favour of remaining GM Free and there is sufficient economic justification and evidence to support that sentiment, then the Council may apply to the Minister for Primary Industries and request that the council be designated as a GM Free area.