44. The representative of Australia said that, as a megabiodiverse country with a unique indigenous culture, her delegation had a strong interest in equitable access to genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. As a party to the CBD, Australia shared relevant objectives in relation to genetic resources and traditional knowledge, including facilitating access to genetic resources with prior informed consent and on mutually agreed terms, to take measures aimed at equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources, and to respect, preserve and maintain traditional knowledge. Australia's system provided access and benefit sharing based on the system of permits and contracts. Australia's national experience indicated that effective benefit sharing regime could be implemented without making changes to the patent system. Therefore, Australia considered that the TRIPS Agreement and the CBD were consistent and could be implemented in a mutually supportive manner. Accordingly, her delegation did not support the proposal of the TRIPS amendment. Australia was prepared to engage constructively in discussions on genetic resources in all relevant international forums, including the WTO, WIPO, the CBD and the WHO. She said that the disclosure requirement merited further consideration as long as this was taken in conjunction with consideration of other options, such as databases. She said that the Director-General's informal consultations on the TRIPS/CBD issue had been productive but there were a range of central policy issues yet to be resolved or even discussed, because of the lacking of detail on the nature and scope of the proposed disclosure requirement. Progress in those discussions was also hampered by the artificial linkage between the TRIPS/CBD issue and the two GI issues.