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Gene Technology Bill 2000

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1998-1999-2000

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

THE SENATE

 

 

Gene Technology Bill 2000

 

 

Schedule of the amendments made by the Senate

 

 

 

 

 

(1)     Opp (3) [Sheet 2026]

          Clause 4, page 2 (after line 13), before paragraph (a), insert:

                    (aa)  provides that where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, a lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation; and

(2)     Dem (3) [Sheet 2049]

          Clause 10, page 5 (lines 25 and 26), omit the definition of Consultative Group , substitute:

Consultative Committee means the Gene Technology Community Consultative Committee established by section 106.

(3)     Govt (1) [Sheet EA243]

          Clause 10, page 7 (lines 18 to 22), omit the definition of Gene Technology Agreement , substitute:

Gene Technology Agreement means the Gene Technology Agreement made for the purposes of this Act between the Commonwealth and at least 4 States, as in force from time to time.

(4)     Dem (4) [Sheet 2049]

          Clause 17, page 14 (line 27), omit “Consultative Group”, substitute “Consultative Committee”.



(5)     Opp (4) [Sheet 2026]

          Clause 21, page 16 (after line 27), after paragraph (a), insert:

                    (aa)  recognising areas, if any, designated under State law for the purpose of preserving the identity of one or both of the following:

                              (i)  GM crops;

                             (ii)  non-GM crops;

                            for marketing purposes;

(6)     Dem (5) [Sheet 2049]

          Clause 22, page 17 (line 19), omit “Consultative Group”, substitute “Consultative Committee”.

(7)     Dem (6) [Sheet 2049]

          Clause 24, page 18 (line 16), omit “Consultative Group”, substitute “Consultative Committee”.

(8)     Opp (1) [Sheet 2072]

          Clause 32, page 23 (lines 20 and 21), omit “a fine of not more than whichever of the following amounts applies”, substitute “whichever of the following applies”.

(9)     Opp (5) [Sheet 2026]

          Clause 32, page 23 (line 22), before “2,000”, insert “imprisonment for 5 years or”.

(10)   Opp (6) [Sheet 2026]

          Clause 32, page 23 (line 23), before “500”, insert “imprisonment for 2 years or”.

(11)   Opp (2) [Sheet 2072]

          Clause 34, page 25 (lines 10 and 11), omit “a fine of not more than whichever of the following amounts applies”, substitute “whichever of the following applies”.

(12)   Opp (7) [Sheet 2026]

          Clause 34, page 25 (line 12), before “2,000”, insert “imprisonment for 5 years or”.

(13)   Opp (8) [Sheet 2026]

          Clause 34, page 25 (line 13), before “500”, insert “imprisonment for 2 years or”.



(14)   Opp (9) [Sheet 2026]

          Clause 34, page 25 (after line 14), at the end of the clause, add:

             (4)  A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (1) or (2) is guilty of a separate offence in respect of each day (including the day of a conviction for the offence or any later day) on which the person is guilty of the offence.

(15)   Opp (10) [Sheet 2026]

          Clause 62, page 43 (after line 9), at the end of the clause, add:

             (3)  Licence conditions may also include conditions requiring the licence holder to be adequately insured against any loss, damage, or injury that may be caused to human health, property or the environment by the licensed dealing.

(16)   Govt (2) [Sheet EA243]

          Clause 78, page 53 (lines 14 to 16), omit subclause (1), substitute:

             (1)  The Regulator may, by writing, determine that a dealing with a GMO is to be included on the GMO Register if the Regulator is satisfied that:

                     (a)  the dealing is, or has been, authorised by a GMO licence; or

                     (b)  the GMO concerned:

                              (i)  is a GM product; and

                             (ii)  is a genetically modified organism only because of regulations made under paragraph (c) of the definition of genetically modified organism .

(17)   Dem (9) [Sheet 2049]

          Part 8, page 64 (line 2) to page 75 (line 5), omit “Consultative Group” (wherever occurring), substitute “Consultative Committee”.

(18)   Opp (11) [Sheet 2026]

          Clause 100, page 66 (after line 18), after subclause (7), insert:

          (7A)  The Minister must ensure that the Committee includes the following members:

                     (a)  a person who is a member of the Consultative Committee;

                     (b)  a person who is a member of the Ethics Committee.

The Minister is not required to be satisfied that these persons have skills or experience in an area mentioned in subsection (5).

(19)   Opp (12) [Sheet 2026]

          Clause 107, page 69 (after line 10), before paragraph (a), insert:

                    (aa)  matters of general concern identified by the Regulator in relation to applications made under this Act;

(20)   Dem (15) [Sheet 2049]

          Page 71 (after line 26), at the end of Division 3, add:

110A  Subcommittees

             (1)  The Consultative Committee may, with the Regulator’s consent, establish subcommittees to assist in the performance of its functions.

             (2)  The regulations may prescribe matters relating to the constitution and operation of subcommittees.

(21)   Opp (13) [Sheet 2026]

          Clause 118, page 77 (after line 11), at the end of the clause, add:

             (5)  The Governor-General must not appoint a person as the Regulator if, at any time during the period of 2 years immediately before the proposed period of appointment, the person was employed by a body corporate whose primary commercial activity relates directly to the development and implementation of gene technologies.

             (6)  The Governor-General must not appoint a person as the Regulator if the person has a pecuniary interest in a body corporate whose primary commercial activity relates directly to the development and implementation of gene technologies.

(22)   Opp (14) [Sheet 2026]

          Page 85 (after line 10), after clause 136, insert:

136A  Quarterly reports

             (1)  As soon as practicable after the end of each quarter, the Regulator must prepare and give to the Minister a report on the operations of the Regulator during that quarter.

             (2)  The report must include information about the following:

                     (a)  GMO licences issued during the quarter;

                     (b)  any breaches of conditions of a GMO licence that have come to the Regulator’s attention during the quarter;

                     (c)  auditing and monitoring of dealings with GMOs under this Act by the Regulator or an inspector during the quarter.

Note:       Auditing and monitoring may include spot checks.

             (3)  The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of the day on which the report was given to the Minister.

             (4)  In this section:

quarter means a period of 3 months beginning on 1 January, 1 April, 1 July or 1 October of any year.



(23)   Opp (15) [Sheet 2026]

          Clause 178, page 116 (line 12), at the end of the clause, add:

             ; (e)     review of the operation of the Act.

(24)   Opp (16) [Sheet 2026]

          Page 119 (after line 26), at the end of Division 2, add:

183A  Extended standing for judicial review

             (1)  This section extends (and does not limit) the meaning of the term person aggrieved in the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 for the purposes of the application of that Act in relation to:

                     (a)  a decision made under this Act or the regulations; or

                     (b)  a failure to make a decision under this Act or the regulations; or

                     (c)  conduct engaged in for the purpose of making a decision under this Act or the regulations.

             (2)  A State is taken to be a person aggrieved by the decision, failure or conduct.

             (3)  A term (except person aggrieved ) used in this section and in the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 has the same meaning in this section as it has in that Act.

(25)   Opp (1) [Sheet 2067]

          Clause 185, page 120 (after line 28), after subclause (2), insert:

          (2A)  The Regulator must refuse to declare that information is confidential commercial information if the information relates to one or more locations at which field trials involving GMOs are occurring, or are proposed to occur, unless the Regulator is satisfied that significant damage to the health and safety of people, the environment or property would be likely to occur if the locations were disclosed.

Note:          This means that, in general, information about sites where dealings with GMOs are occurring will be required to be disclosed under sections 54 and 138, unless the Regulator is satisfied that disclosure would involve significant risks to health and safety.

(26)   Opp (2) [Sheet 2067]

          Clause 185, page 120 (after line 30), after subclause (3), insert:

          (3A)  If:

                     (a)  the Regulator declares that particular information is confidential commercial information; and

                     (b)  the information relates to one or more locations at which field trials involving GMOs are occurring, or are proposed to occur;

the Regulator must make publicly available a statement of reasons for the making of the declaration, including, but not limited to:

                     (c)  the reasons why the Regulator was satisfied as mentioned in subsection (1); and

                     (d)  the reasons why the Regulator was not satisfied under subsection (2) that the public interest in disclosure of the information outweighed the prejudice that the disclosure would cause; and

                     (e)  the reasons why the Regulator was satisfied under subsection (2A) that significant damage to the health and safety of people, the environment or property would be likely to occur if the locations were disclosed.

(27)   Opp (19) [Sheet 2026]

          Page 127 (after line 23), after clause 192, insert:

192A  Interference with dealings with GMOs

             (1)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person engages in conduct; and

                     (b)  the conduct:

                              (i)  results in damage to, destruction of, or interference with, premises at which dealings with GMOs are being undertaken; or

                             (ii)  involves damaging, destroying, or interfering with, a thing at, or removing a thing from, such premises; and

                     (c)  the owner or occupier of the premises, or the owner of the thing (as the case requires), has not consented to the conduct; and

                     (d)  in engaging in the conduct, the person intends to prevent or hinder authorised GMO dealings that are being undertaken at the premises or facility; and

                     (e)  the person knows, or is reckless as to, the matters mentioned in paragraphs (b) and (c).

Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (2)  In this section:

authorised GMO dealings , in relation to premises or a facility, means dealings with GMOs being undertaken at the premises or facility:

                     (a)  that are authorised to be undertaken at the premises or facility by a GMO licence; or

                     (b)  that are notifiable low risk dealings; or

                     (c)  that are exempt dealings; or

                     (d)  that are deregulated GMO dealings.

(28)   Govt (1) [Sheet ED233]

          Page 127 (after line 23), after clause 192, insert:

192B   Cloning of human beings is prohibited

             (1)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person engages in conduct; and

                     (b)  the person knows that, or is reckless as to whether, the conduct will result in the cloning of a whole human being.

Maximum penalty: 2,000 penalty units or imprisonment for 10 years.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

             (2)  In this section:

cloning of a whole human being means the use of technology for the purpose of producing, from one original, a duplicate or descendant that is, or duplicates or descendants that are, genetically identical to the original.

(29)   Govt (2) [Sheet ED233]

          Page 127 (after line 23), after clause 192, insert:

192C   Certain experiments involving animal eggs prohibited

                   A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person engages in conduct; and

                     (b)  the person knows that, or is reckless as to whether, the conduct involves carrying out experiments or research that involves putting human cells, or a combination of human cells and animal cells, into animal eggs.

Maximum penalty: 2,000 penalty units or imprisonment for 10 years.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

(30)   Govt (3) [Sheet ED233]

          Page 127 (after line 23), after clause 192, insert:

192D   Certain experiments involving putting human and animal cells into a human uterus prohibited

                   A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person engages in conduct; and

                     (b)  the person knows that, or is reckless as to whether, the conduct involves carrying out experiments or research that involves putting a combination of human cells and animal cells into a human uterus.

Maximum penalty: 2,000 penalty units or imprisonment for 10 years.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

(31)   Opp (20) [Sheet 2026]

          Page 127 (after line 31), at the end of the bill, add:

194  Review of operation of Act

             (1)  The Ministerial Council must cause an independent review of the operation of this Act, including the structure of the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, to be undertaken as soon as possible after the fourth anniversary of the commencement of this Act.

             (2)  A person who undertakes such a review must give the Ministerial Council a written report of the review.

             (3)  The Minister, on behalf of the Ministerial Council, must cause a copy of the report of the review to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 12 months after the fourth anniversary of the commencement of this Act.

             (4)  In this section:

independent review means a review undertaken by persons who:

                     (a)  in the opinion of a majority of the Ministerial Council possess appropriate qualifications to undertake the review; and

                     (b)  include one or more persons who are not employed by the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority.

 

 

 

 

 

HARRY EVANS

Clerk of the Senate

 

 

The Senate

8 December 2000 a.m.