The former Plant Breeder’s Rights Advisory Committee has formally been abolished with effect from 21 February 2018 by means of the Statute Update (Smaller Government) Act 2018. The change however has no effect on the newly established Plant Breeder’s Rights Consultation Group.
This follows a 2014 recommendation by the National Commission of Audit (the Commission) to rationalise agencies, boards and committees as part of streamlining the structure and operation of the Australian Public Service.
The Commission argued that having a statutory body that provides plant breeders rights advice to the government increases costs and complexity and does not provide sufficient flexibility for its operation and membership.
The Government agreed and has instead set up a Plant Breeder’s Rights Consultation Group, supported by IP Australia, to provide specialised advice on plant breeder’s rights matters. This has enabled a more flexible approach to consultation and a broader membership. The group meets twice a year.