Posted: December 25, 2008

Regional government in Australia creates nanotechnology advisory committee

(Nanowerk News) A nanotechnology advisory committee will be appointed to consider recommendations of a recent parliamentary inquiry, the New South Wales (NSW) Government says.
NSW Chief Scientist Professor Mary O'Kane has been asked to set up the committee, which will explore a number of the 18 recommendations coming from the inquiry, science minister Jodi McKay said.
"This was the first parliamentary inquiry into nanotechnology in Australia and one that looked specifically at both the benefits and potential risks of nano materials," Ms McKay said.
"It is important we capitalise on this inquiry, and fully explore the viability of nanotechnology in NSW."
Nanotechnology involves the manipulation of matter at an atomic or molecular scale, between 1 to 100 nanometres or the size of 1/100,000th the diameter of a human hair.
"It can be applied to many areas including medicine, chemistry, the environment, energy efficiency, aerospace, textiles, cosmetics and foods," Prof O'Kane said.
"At this extremely small scale, material properties such as colour, magnetism and electricity conduction may change, leading to the development of new technologies."
NSW will work with a range of groups to ensure safe working and living environments are maintained while researching the technology, Ms McKay said.
"It is important that we ensure the regulations and policies that are in place to manage manufactured materials and products also relate to nano-sized particles," she said.
The Government's response to the inquiry and its recommendations is due at the end of April 2009.
The parliamentary inquiry into nanotechnology was conducted by the legislative council standing committee on state development.
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