First review of the scheme
The Gene Technology Act 2000 required an independent review be done as soon as possible after 4 years of the Act being in force.
The intergovernmental Gene Technology Agreement required that this review also include:
- the agreement
- all the legislation enacted, and to be enacted, under the scheme.
This review covered:
- the scope and operation of the Act and whether it was achieving its objectives
- the structure of the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator
- the regulatory burden
- interfaces with other regulators of genetically modified organisms and products
- interfaces with state and territory legislation falling under the scheme
- whether the legislation accommodated emerging trends
- the Gene Technology Agreement and whether it was achieving its aims.
The review invited public submissions and was done in consultation with the:
- the Gene Technology Regulator
- the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee
- the Gene Technology Ethics and Community Consultative Committee
- various scientific, consumer, health, environmental and industry groups.
The final report includes the terms of reference.
The reviewers found that the Act and national regulatory scheme had worked well over the previous 5 years (2000–2005) and did not require any major changes.
The review panel recommended some minor changes to improve the operation of the Act, including:
- increasing the powers of the Gene Technology Regulator in cases of non-compliance
- reducing reporting requirements
- continuing to review the Act every 5 years to make sure that the scheme accommodates emerging trends.