To: ThePremier <>
Subject: "You shouldn't assume they are ignorant or ill-informed"
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1999 11:19 AM

Dear Mr Premier

It is seemingly not just in Australia that the public remain sceptical of the biotechnology industry.

Your Labour colleagues in the UK are evidently coming under fire from even their own scientists. "We just believe that policy-makers, regulators, should treat what the public are saying seriously and tread cautiously," they said. "Carefully weigh up all of these risks and do it sensibly."

The Biohazard Action Alliance (BAA) has been formed from an amalgamation of local community groups that are opposed to the inappropriate location of Biotechnology Research Laboratories within the residential environs of Brisbane. Our membership comprises the St.Lucia Residents' Association (SRA), the Long Pocket Concerned Residents¹ Group (LPCRG), the Ironsides Residents' Association (IRA), and the Residents Against Intensive Development (RAID), that have variously been operating for many years or that have "sprung up" in response to the threat posed by the "gene tech factories" proposed under your Government's "SmartState" initiative.

The projects making up the Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology have aroused considerable controversy in our local area. Many residents are concerned about toxic hazards from laboratories in the complexes, which are just over the road from existing homes. As such, we would very much appreciate the Queensland Government treating seriously what we are saying, and treading cautiously. If these risks were carefully weighed up, the only sensible solution would be to locate the biotech facilities away from residential areas, as is required of other industries. The community seek to be afforded the protection  of the City of Brisbane Town Plan, that could never contemplate the location of such risky high tech research laboratories, and the purported ³spin off² incubator industries, within the residential areas of a major city such as Brisbane.

Their placement in residential areas was always a wrong idea, and their promotion by GMO organisations is having a drastically detrimental effect on the image of Biotechnology in Brisbane.  We wish to assist our scientists in finding a more suitable location for their laboratories.  Such locations exist at Pinjarra Hills and Samford, on the outskirts of Brisbane.

Yours faithfully

Biohazard Action Alliance

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