Legislative Council

GREENS BILL: Industrial Hemp

March 29th, 2017

On the 29th of March, Mark spoke in support of the Greens Private Members Bill, Industrial Hemp Bill 2016, introduced by Greens MLC Tammy Franks.

The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: I rise to congratulate my colleague, the Hon. Tammy Franks, for putting this on the parliamentary agenda. Also, to thank the representatives of the Liberal Party and the Labor Party for their support. This is a sensible measure. I agree with the comments that have been made that, whilst we do not know exactly where this industry might go, it does have great potential. We did see some of the products, that supporters of industrial hemp brought into parliament, on display in the Muriel Matters Room in the library. It was very informative and people could see the range of products that, potentially, could be produced in South Australia.

The point I want to make is that, with climate change, we know that our primary producers are going to need more options to diversify and not less. We heard some time ago from the CSIRO and the Goyder Institute that, with climate change, Goyder's line of reliable rainfall could in fact move up to 100 kilometres further south, so the more crops that our farmers are able to take advantage of the more resilient they will be in an age of climate change.

I think it is important that this parliament has taken a sensible approach to this bill. Rather than taking a kneejerk reaction because of some supposed association with drugs, I think the parliament is going to recognise that this is an agricultural crop that has great potential. When we are deciding in parliament about the things to allow and disallow, we need to have very good reasons to disallow the growing of certain crops, and there is no good reason to disallow industrial hemp. I thank my colleague for putting this on the agenda and I am delighted that a Greens' private member's bill looks as if it is going to pass this parliament.

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