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: 01 February 2018

What's New


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.

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 Closed)

  • 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 (Upcoming)

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

Next Steps – Phase 3 Consultation

Phase 2 consultations closed on 15 December 2017 - thanks to all stakeholders who have participated and contributed to consultations to date. All formal submissions received as part of Phase 2 will be published on this webpage in the near future.

Consultation input is currently being analysed and will be used to inform the draft findings. The draft Review report is due for release in Phase 3 consultations, anticipated in March 2018.

This third phase of consultation seeks to identify any potential gaps to the analysis thus far, to inform the final report.

Further Information

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

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.


On 28 November and 6 December 2017, two scheduled webinars 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 opportunities for participants to clarify their understanding of the questions posed in the consultation paper, prior to submitting their feedback. 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 no longer available.

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)

Submissions to Consultations

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.