GENETICALLY-MODIFIED seeds will travel through SA for the first time under a ministerial exemption granted under the Genetically Modified Crops Management Act 2004.
GenTech Seeds will be able to transport GM canola seed from NSW to WA via SA, while GO Resources are also seeking an exemption to transport safflower seed from WA to Vic in late 2020.
Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone congratulated GenTech Seeds on developing a transport plan that complied with legislation and guaranteed no GM seeds would escape into the SA environment, while also delivering savings to the national grains industry.
"Up until now, the industry had to put seed on boats travelling around Australia, or to drive trucks via the NT, to move GM seeds from the east and west coasts," he said.
"For a globally-focused exporting industry, the grains sector cannot afford such an expense and inefficiency."
The transport exemption was considered and supported by the SA GM Advisory Committee, in accordance with State legislation.
Requirements included having seed securely sealed and travelling in a clearly marked container.
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Mr Whetstone said the process highlighted how "outdated" the GM moratorium was in SA.
"As it stands, transport companies are unable to travel with GM seeds through SA without a ministerial exemption," he said.
"In a similar manner to how the Treasurer can exempt supermarkets from South Australia's archaic shop trading laws, I am empowered to grant exemptions under Labor's outdated GM moratorium legislation.
"Had Labor and SA-Best not conspired to first disallow regulations and then vote down legislation, our farmers, seed and transport companies would have been able to plan their operations for 2020 without having to come crawling to government seeking legislative exemptions."
Mr Whetstone said the government remained committed to lifting the GM moratorium on mainland SA.