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Posted: May 5, 2009

Regional Australian government tables nanotechnology recommendations

(Nanowerk News) The New South Wales Government has tabled its response to the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into the use and applications of Nanotechnology.
Minister for Science and Medical Research Jodi McKay said the Government response emphasises mechanisms to ensure safety while still encouraging innovation and industry development of nanotechnology.
“This is about ensuring we have a business friendly environment for driving productivity and high-end jobs growth in nanotechnologies whilst making sure that appropriate mechanisms are in place to protect workers, consumers and the environment,” Ms McKay said.
The NSW Government response supports the recommendations from the Inquiry and key reforms include the establishment of:
• the NSW Nanotechnology Policy Coordination Committee to coordinate NSW Government policy relevant to nanotechnology • a Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Laboratory Network, a one-stop-shop for materials characterisation and toxicology assessment. The NSW Government will also work with relevant governments and organisations in recommending to the Commonwealth that a National Council for Ultrafine Particles be established.
“Nanotechnology has many applications and is applied in fields including medicine, chemistry, the environment, energy efficiency, heavy industry, aerospace, and textiles,” Ms McKay said.
“We need to make sure that regulation keeps pace with technology. “This is particularly important for our high-growth industries in smart devices, cutting edge materials and products related to nano-sized particles.
“The Government response to nanotechnology will help NSW remain a national leader in nanotechnology and protect existing jobs in this area,” Ms McKay said. Ms McKay thanked the Government Advisory Committee on Nanotechnology noting that the Committee brought together a broad range of NSW Government agencies and the expertise of two eminent independent scientists to advise Government on an appropriate response.
Chair of the Committee, NSW Chief Scientist and Scientific Engineer Professor Mary O’Kane said nanomaterials present complex issues.
“Governments around the world are grappling with issues related to nanotechnology, from the United Kingdom, the United States through to Australia,” Professor O’Kane said.
“It is heartening that NSW is leading Australia in setting up the Legislative Council Inquiry.”
The Government response to the Inquiry into Nanotechnology in NSW can be found on the NSW Parliament website at www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/.
Source: New South Wales Government