At 30 June 2010, the OGTR employed 56 staff (see Table 25). Of these, 54 were ongoing APS employees, two were non-ongoing employees and two officers were on maternity leave. This equates to 51 full-time equivalent staff at 30 June 2010.

Staff membership of equal employment opportunity groups has changed little since the last reporting period except that four more women were employed (58% compared to 52% in 2008–09: see Table 26)

Table 25: OGTR staffing profile, at 30 June 2010

Classification of officers Male Female Total
Full-time Part-time Full-time Part-time
Statutory Office Holder 1 1
Senior Executive Service 2 1 3
Legal Officer Level 2 1 1
Executive Level 2 6 2 8
Executive Level 1 8 6 3 17
APS Level 5–6 5 11 7 23
APS Level 1–4 1 2 3
Total as 30 June 2010 23 21 12 56
Total as 30 June 2009 25 2 19 8 54
Total at 30 June 2008 21 1 20 11 51

Table 26: Membership of equal employment opportunity groups, 2009 and 2010

Equal employment opportunity group 2010 2009
No. % No. %
Women 32 58 28 52
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff 0 0
Non-English speaking background 9 16 9 17
Staff with disabilities 0 0

Performance pay

Most performance payments made in 2009–10 related to assessments for the 2008–09 cycle. Due to the small numbers of staff at the SES Band 1 level, details for SES Band 1 and non-SES staff have been combined (see Table 27). Payments have been aggregated to preserve employees’ privacy. The OGTR makes performance bonus payments available to staff working under a current Australian Workplace Agreement and under section 24(1) determinations which provides eligibility. As well, a range of non-salary benefits is afforded to non-SES staff employed under Collective Agreement 5 or current Australian Workplace Agreements (see Table 28).

Table 27: SES and non-SES bonus payments, 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010

Level Number
SES Band 1 and non-SES staff 8

Table 28: Non-salary benefits afforded non-SES staff employed under the Certified Agreement 5 or current Australian Workplace Agreement

Agreement Benefits
Collective Agreement 5 Access to the Employee Assistance Program
Extended purchased leave
Study assistance
Support for professional and personal development
Award scheme
Flexible working locations including, where appropriate, access to lap-top computers, dial-in facilities and mobile phones
Access to negotiated discount registration or memberships fees to join a fitness or health club
Reimbursement of eyesight testing and eyewear costs prescribed specifically for use with screen-based equipment
Influenza and hepatitis B vaccinations for staff who are required to come into regular contact with members of the community classified as at increased risk of exposure to influenza
Flexible working hours
Parental leave
Leave for compelling reasons and exceptional circumstances
Pay-out of additional duty in certain circumstances
Recognition of travel time
Australian Workplace Agreement All of the above benefits except flextime
Private use of motor vehicles or an allowance in lieu (not all officers)

Internal training presentations

During 2009–10, OGTR’s Legal Officer, Mr Alceo Turello, conducted introductory and ongoing training for OGTR staff on legal issues (see Table 29). The Science Cohort Section also conducted training on Risk Assessments (see Table 30).

Table 29: Internal legal issue training presentations, 2009–10

Date Topic
June 2010 Accountability and Administrative Law
Review of the Gene Technology Act
April 2010 Providing advice
March 2010 Confidential Commercial Information for newcomers
Administrative Law Fundamentals
February 2010 The Gene Technology Act for newcomers
November 2009 The Sugar Beet Case
October 2009 The Gene Technology Regulations
September 2009 Stacking of GMOs
August 2009 Confidential Commercial Information and the Public Interest
July 2009 The ERMA case

Table 30: Internal risk assessment training presentations, 2009–10

Date Topic
July 2009 Advanced Risk Analysis – Are risk and safety assessments equivalent?
May 2009 Introduction to Risk Assessment

The OGTR Forum provides a venue where, in addition to presentations by visiting experts, current information is shared among staff on topics such as scientific and risk assessment issues, summaries of recent conferences or feedback from international meetings. A range of OGTR staff and guest speakers made presentations at the OGTR Forum during 2009–10 (see Table 31).

Table 31: Presentations at OGTR Forum, 2009–10

Month Topic Speaker
June 2010 Report on OECD meetings
Working Group on Harmonisation of Regulatory Oversight of Biotechnology
Taskforce for the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds
Dr Peter Thygesen
Eucalyptus genomics Professor Zander Myburg, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Eucalyptus breeding/genetics in Brazil Professor Dario Grattapaglia, Catholic University of Brasilia, Brazil
Report on Managing Regulation, Enforcement and Compliance Workshop Mr Andrew Radanovich
Report on Biotechnology Regulatory Workshop Dr Kylie Tattersall
Report on meetings with European regulators Dr Joe Smith
April 2010 Virus resistant GM maize, GM vaccines and biosafety issues: A South African perspective Professor Ed Rybicki, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Report on risk assessment workshop, Vietnam Dr Michael Dornbusch, Dr Brian Weir
Risk communication and public perception Dr Janet Gough, Environmental Risk Management Authority, New Zealand
March 2010 Report on Canadian Food Inspection Agency Symposium: integrating foresight and emerging trends into timely scientific advice Dr Paul Keese
December 2009 Report on Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics Salinity Symposium Dr Alison Wardrop
Report on forth International Conference on coexistence between genetically modified and non-GM based agricultural supply chains Mr Greg Barber, Mr Peter Wenzel, Dr Kylie Tattersall
Report on Biosecurity in the new Bioeconomy: threats and opportunities conference Dr Joe Smith, Mr Will Tucker, Dr Meena Rajagopal Murthi, Dr Josť ten Have, Dr Heidi Mitchell
November 2009 Report on risk assessment workshop in Malaysia Dr Michael Dornbusch
Honeybees Doug Somerville, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries