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Guidelines for the Transport, Storage and Disposal of GMOs

Definitions and Acronyms

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Unless defined otherwise in these guidelines, words and phrases used in these guidelines have the same meaning as in the Act and the Regulations.

Words in the singular include the plural and words in the plural include the singular.

References to any statute or other legislation (whether primary or subordinate) are a reference to a statute or other legislation of the Commonwealth of Australia as amended or replaced from time to time and equivalent provisions, if any, in corresponding State law, unless the contrary intention appears.

Where any word or phrase is given a defined meaning, any other part of speech or other grammatical form in respect of that word has a corresponding meaning.

aerosolSuspension in air of finely dispersed solids and liquids.
authorised physical containment facility
or authorised PC(1, 2, 3 or 4) facility
A physical containment facility that is:
  • certified by the Regulator under section 84 of the Act;
  • permitted to contain GMO dealings under conditions of a licence issued by the Regulator; or
  • otherwise authorised in writing by the Regulator under regulation 13(2)(c) of the Regulations.
‘PC(1, 2, 3 or 4)’ means Physical Containment level 1, 2, 3 or 4.
decontamination or decontaminateA physical or chemical process which removes, kills or renders non-viable the GMOs used. In the case of micro-organisms this may not necessarily result in sterility.
disposalThe destruction, discarding, or throwing away of decontaminated GMOs.
GMOGenetically Modified Organism.
GMGenetically Modified
floodFor the purposes of these guidelines ‘flood’ includes:
  • mainstream flooding (an event where water from a creek, river, lake, estuary or coastal waters overflows the natural or artificial banks of the principal watercourses in a catchment);
  • flash flooding (flooding that occurs within six hours of the rain which causes the flooding); and
  • stormwater flooding (local runoff exceeding the capacity of an urban stormwater drainage system).
IBC Institutional Biosafety Committee.
NLRD Notifiable Low Risk Dealing.
micro-organismAn organism too small to be viewed by the unaided eye, including bacteria, fungi, viruses and some multicellular organisms. For the purposes of these guidelines, this definition includes viral vectors.
PC1 Physical Containment Level 1.
PC2 Physical Containment Level 2.
PC3 Physical Containment Level 3.
PC4 Physical Containment Level 4.
primary containerA container immediately surrounding the GMO.
prone to floodingFor the purposes of these guidelines, the determination of whether the location of a site is prone to flooding or storm surges depends on the expected frequency of these events. A site will be regarded as being prone to flooding if the floor of the site would be inundated by a 100 year Average Recurrence Interval (ARI) flood or storm surge event. (This equates to a 1 in 100 year flood level, or an Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) of 1%.). If it is not possible to obtain the 100 year ARI flood level from the relevant local authority, then the highest ARI or Defined Flood level used by that authority will be taken to be the level for determining if the location is prone to flooding or storm surges.
qualified personA person who has acquired through training, qualifications or experience, or a combination of these, the knowledge and skill enabling that person to accomplish the relevant task competently.
sealedAble to contain all GMOs or the reproductive material of GM plants or GM aquatic organisms (including pollen or gametes) being transported or stored, and able to remain closed during all reasonably expected conditions of transport and storage.
secondary containerThe container immediately surrounding the primary container.
storageThe act of holding or keeping of GMOs or parts of GMOs without undertaking any experimentation or other procedures on the GMOs or parts of GMOs.

NOTE: It would normally be expected that there would be no metabolic activity or minimal metabolic activity in the GMOs. This may involve low temperatures or freezing of cultures but may also involve the holding of stocks of diapausing insects or cell cultures for relatively short periods of time. It would not include the holding of actively growing plants and animals.
storm surgeFor the purposes of these guidelines, a storm surge is a rise in coastal water levels caused by the low pressure area of a storm or cyclone and wind driving water shoreward.
substantive amount of liquidThat amount of liquid more than that which adheres to the inside of a container (such as a bottle) when its contents have been emptied out.
the ActGene Technology Act 2000 and, as applicable, corresponding State legislation.
the RegulationsThe Commonwealth Gene Technology Regulations 2001.
transportIncludes:
  • movement of GMOs between one authorised physical containment facility and another;
  • movement of GMOs between one authorised physical containment facility and storage outside of an authorised physical containment facility;
  • movement of GMOs between a place of storage outside of an authorised physical containment facility to another place of storage outside of an authorised physical containment facility;
  • movement of GMOs between any points specified in a licence;
  • movement of GMOs from any point specified in a licence to an authorised physical containment facility;
  • movement of GMOs from an authorised physical containment facility, or from storage outside of an authorised physical containment facility, to a place where the GMOs are to be decontaminated or disposed of (e.g. to an autoclave or incinerator);
  • movement of GMOs imported into Australia from the Australian border to: an authorised physical containment facility; storage outside of an authorised physical containment facility; or a point of export from Australia or to a place where the GMOs are to be decontaminated or disposed of;
  • movement of GMOs to be exported from Australia, to the Australian border from an authorised physical containment facility or from storage outside of an authorised physical containment facility;
  • movement of liquid waste containing GMOs via piping or tubing from an authorised physical containment facility to a place outside the boundary of the facility for further transport, storage, decontamination or disposal.
Within these guidelines transport does not include movement of GMOs:
  • from an area in an authorised physical containment facility to another area entirely within the same facility; or
  • from one part of an area authorised by a licence to another part of the same area (for example, from one part of a field planting location to another part of the same field planting location).
unbreakableAble to withstand all reasonably expected conditions of transport and storage such as: the forces, shocks and impacts expected during handling; or changes of temperature, humidity or air pressure.
viableMicro-organisms, cells and cell cultures:
  • able to survive or multiply even though resuscitation procedures may be required, e.g. when sub-lethally damaged by being frozen, dried, heated, or affected by chemicals, including decontamination agents.
Other organisms, whole or part:
  • able to live and grow independently of its parent or source organism, or able to reproduce or contribute genetic material to reproduction (e.g. sperm, ova, pollen, seeds, vegetative propagules).


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