Regulation of Gene Technology in Australia
Gene technology is a powerful capability, with wide potential and application. Most governments, industries and communities understand that this technology has the potential to bring benefits to the community and environment but requires the appropriate controls, checks and balances to reassure the community and our export markets that the risks and benefits are investigated and managed appropriately.
For this reason, the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments have agreed on a national Gene Technology Regulatory scheme. Under the scheme, the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments have specific responsibilities. The scheme’s aim is to protect the environment, the public’s health and safety and agricultural markets and trade, by identifying potential risks posed by gene technology and implementing mechanisms to manage these risks.
The Victorian Government’s participation in the national scheme is coordinated across several State Government Departments. State Government scientists and other experts review proposed activities (biomedical, agricultural and other) and advise on what impact they could have in Victoria. Victoria’s Minister for Health is the lead Minister for biotechnology safety and represents Victoria on the national Legislative and Governance Forum on Gene Technology.