Article – Territory opium crops gets fresh legislature

11 May 2014
North Queensland Register

PHOTO: The Poppy Regulation Bill 2014 provides for the regulation of opium poppy activities to capture the cultivation, processing, transportation and storage of poppy material and any related activities.

THE Northern Territory Government has introduced new legislation to regulate the growth of opium poppies in the Territory.
Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries Willem Westra van Holthe said the Giles Government was continuing to drive the development of Northern Australia and support industries which would provide further boosts to the Territory’s economy.
“This new agribusiness will not only support our economy and provide employment but will also provide medicinal benefits, with the pharmaceutical ingredients being used in drugs such as codeine and morphine,” Mr Westra van Holthe said.
“Based on the success of the 2013 poppy growing trials conducted in the Northern Territory, our government was approached by Tasmanian Poppy Industries (TPI) with a proposal to conduct a larger-scale commercialised growing trial in 2014.
“This was a great opportunity for our government to get on board and support this exciting new initiative.”
Mr Westra van Holthe said currently there was not a legal mechanism to allow for the commercialised growing of poppies in the Northern Territory, which is why the new legislation was being brought before the house.
“The Giles Government has actively worked to design an appropriate regulatory framework to allow for the legalised growing, processing, storage and transportation of poppy and related products,” he said.
“The Poppy Regulation Bill 2014 provides for the regulation of opium poppy activities to capture the cultivation, processing, transportation and storage of poppy material and any related activities.
“Key provisions in the Bill, include the need for the applicant and any associates to demonstrate that they are fit and proper persons to be issued with a licence, as well as other strict security measures.
“Our government is supportive of the establishment of an opium poppy industry that will broaden the Northern Territory’s existing agricultural base and help with economic development through the creation of employment opportunities.”
Courtesy of the North Queensland Register

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