The government of Western Australia is preparing tighter legislation that will protect areas from cultivation with genetically modified crops.

The legislation will strengthen the government’s hand with regard to stopping new GM plantings. Agriculture minister Kim Chance reported that cabinet had approved the drafting of legislation giving him power to identify areas where GM crops could not be planted.

The government is known to be concerned at the slow pace with which a parliamentary committee is examining legislation, and is keen to make its cautious stance clear.