Paul Lucas, Minister for Innovation and Information Economy in the Queensland State Government, said yesterday [Thursday] that he had no plans to change State laws to enable councils to legally enforce GM-free zones.

Premier Peter Beattie and local government minister Nita Cunningham's office also issued statements denying plans to change the rules. Nevertheless, a number of shires have declared themselves GM-free.

Beattie encouraged any council seeking to keep its regions free of GM technology to ask local farmers voluntarily to ban modified crops on their land.

Lucal reiterated that it was not the role of the government to tell farmers how they should farm their land.