2017 Review of the National Gene Technology Scheme – Consultation approach

All Australian Governments have agreed to initiate the third review of the National Scheme for the Regulation of Gene Technology (the Review).

Page last updated: 15 September 2017


The intergovernmental Gene Technology Agreement requires that reviews of the National Gene Technology Scheme (the Scheme) are undertaken regularly. The first review was held in 2006, with a second ‘lighter touch’ review held in 2011.

The ministerial committee with responsibility for oversight of the Scheme, the Legislative and Governance Forum on Gene Technology (LGFGT), announced commenced the current review in July 2017.

This Review will ensure the scheme remains effective, agile and supports innovation into the future, and continues to meet the objective of the Act which is to:

"to protect the health and safety of people and to protect the environment by identifying risks posed by or as a result of gene technology, and by managing those risks through regulating certain dealings with GMOs”

The initial phase of consultation is currently underway to gather views and information on issues to be considered as part of the 2017 Review. This is only one of a number of opportunities for stakeholders to participate in, and contribute to, a final report to be agreed and implemented by all governments through the LGFGT.

Consultation Process

The consultation has been organised in three key phases aimed at identifying key issues for consideration, collaboratively exploring policy solutions to these issues, and finally providing an opportunity to comment on the findings:

Phase One - Written Submissions

  • Open consultation 25 July – 29 September 2017 (10 weeks): gain an understanding of key issues to be addressed through the review by seeking input from stakeholders (through a written submission process), and examining input into other reports and reviews (including the Productivity Commission report on Regulation of Australian Agriculture and the House of Representatives Smart farming – Inquiry into agricultural innovation).

Phase Two - Explore options and possible policy solutions

  • Open consultation 6 November – 14 December 2017: using the input from Phase one, engage collaboratively with stakeholders (through issues papers, workshops, forums, surveys, targeted meetings, market research and written submissions ) to explore options and develop solutions to the issues captured.

Phase Three - Test proposed outcomes with stakeholders

  • Open consultation early 2018 (anticipated March): taking into account Phase one and two considerations, present draft findings for stakeholder comment through an online submissions process.

Would you like to provide input to the Review?

The closure date for Submissions have now been extended until 23:59 29 September 2017.

If you wish to provide a hardcopy submission:
Please complete the Review Submission Cover Sheet and mail to:
Gene Technology Secretariat
Department of Health
MDP 1060
GPO Box 9848

If you want to be kept up to date on the Review, please subscribe by clicking on the subscribe button.

Contact information

Please email the Review Secretariat or telephone 02 6289 2033 should you have any questions on the process.

Key Documents

Terms of Reference of the review

Background paper

Communique/Media Release

The Joint Communique from the Legislative and Governance Forum on Gene Technology (July 2017) outlines the Review.