Review of the National Gene Technology Scheme – Consultation approach 2017

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: 11 December 2017

What's New

Phase Two Consultations are open from 6 November to 15 December 2017.

To inform this next phase of engagement, a Consultation Paper has now been released. This paper summarises feedback obtained from Phase one and communicates key themes for discussion in Phase Two consultation.

There is numerous ways for you to participate in Phase Two consultations including:


A series of workshops will be held in November and December 2017 across most states and territories, to explore the issues identified in Phase One consultation (and the Consultation Paper) and work collaboratively to develop possible solutions.

Please note that due to the high level of interest from stakeholders, workshop registration has now closed.


On 28 November and 6 December 2017, webinars were held that provided a broad range of stakeholders the opportunity to participate in online discussion, and capture potential solutions to the issues identified within Phase 1 consultation.

Throughout the webinars, stakeholders interacted with members of the Expert Advisory Panel (EAP) through the ‘live chat’ functionality. The objective was to provide opportunity for participants to clarify their understanding of the questions posed in the consultation paper prior to submitting their solutions – the questions and answers provided by EAP members will be uploaded to this webpage shortly.

Should you have missed the opportunity to participate, a recording of the webinar is available for your viewing. Please note that live Q&A/interaction with EAP members is not available.

Online Submissions:

Stakeholders are invited to respond to a series of questions designed to explore options and potential solutions to issues identified in Phase one. To participate, visit the Online Submission.

The online submission process is informed by the consultation paper. This paper has been designed to explore possible policy approaches through a series of questions raised throughout the document.

Please note: It is not necessary for stakeholders to provide a response to all of the questions posed. You are invited to respond to any or all questions that relate to your area of interest by 15 December 2017.

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 - (Now Closed)

  • 25 July – 29 September 2017 (10 weeks): gained 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 (Now Open)

  • Open consultation 6 November – 15 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 Feb/ March): taking into account Phase One and Two considerations, present draft findings for stakeholder comment through an online submissions process.

Further Information

To ensure you’re kept up to date on the Review progress, please subscribe by clicking on the subscribe button.


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 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”

Consultation is currently underway and there are 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.

Expert Advisory Panel Appointment

The Legislative and Governance Forum on Gene Technology (LGFGT) has appointed technical advisors, Ms Claire Noone, Prof Ian Small, Prof David Tscharke and Dr Mark Tizard, to the 2017 Gene Technology Scheme Review Expert Advisory Panel (EAP).

As outlined in their biographies, these individuals bring specific expertise across key areas including environment, biology, ethics, law, gene technology and regulation.

PDF Version: Biographies (PDF 31 KB)
Word Version: Biographies (Word 20 KB)

In conducting their work, EAP members are required to provide technical advice into the review process, assist in understanding the issues and development of sound solutions.

Key Documents

Terms of Reference of the Review

PDF version: Terms of Reference of the Review (PDF 62 KB)
Word version: Terms of Reference of the Review (Word 16 KB)

Background Paper

PDF version: Consultation Paper – Phase Two (PDF 1155 KB)
Word Document: Consultation Paper – Phase Two (Word 1547 KB)

Phase One - Submissions Received

Communique/Media Release

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

Contact information

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