During consultations, many people pointed out that it is often difficult to understand how legislation will work just by looking at the Bill. This is because a lot of the administrative detail is included in regulations which support the Bill. Many stakeholders therefore requested that draft regulations be made available while the legislation is still under consideration by Parliament, so that the complete legislative package could be scrutinised.

Over the past few months, government officials have been working with the Genetic Manipulation Advisory Committee to develop draft regulations.

It is proposed that the regulations will:

  • Provide further information about some of the definitions used in the Gene Technology Bill 2000. For example, the regulations will describe:
    • techniques that are techniques of gene technology for the purposes of the definition of gene technology;
    • things declared by the regulations to be GMOs (e.g. any GM products that are not regulated by existing agencies such as stock feed); and
    • things declared by the regulations not to be GMOs.
  • Describe the exemptions under the legislation. That is, the types of dealings with certain GMOs that are sufficiently low risk that they do not require oversight by the GTR.
  • Set out the dealings with GMOs that are notifiable low risk dealings and the conditions which will apply to such notifiable low risk dealings.
  • Describe the types of information that must be provided by an applicant for a licence.
  • Provide further information about the scientific, ethics and community committees including:
    • term of appointments;
    • resignation;
    • termination of appointment;
    • disclosure of interest;
    • procedures for convening meetings;
    • constitution and quorums; and
    • records and reporting.
An early draft of the regulations will be made publicly available in July 2000. The IOGTR will undertake national consultations on the draft regulations in late August 2000. Details of the consultations will be advertised in newspapers in each State and Territory, on the IOGTR website and direct-mailed to people on the IOGTR/GMAC mailing list.

Once KPMG have completed their report on fees and charges (described in Chapter 6) regulations will also be drafted describing application fees or fees for services. Consultation on this additional component of the regulations will be undertaken at a later date.