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Gene Technology Bill 2000

Part 3 The Gene Technology Regulator


25   Simplified outline

                   The following is a simplified outline of this Part:

This Part establishes the office of the Gene Technology Regulator (the Regulator ), and specifies the Regulator’s functions and powers.

26   The Gene Technology Regulator

                   There is to be a Gene Technology Regulator.

27   Functions of the Regulator

                   The Regulator has the following functions:

                     (a)  to perform functions in relation to GMO licences as set out in Part 5;

                     (b)  to develop draft policy principles and policy guidelines, as requested by the Ministerial Council;

                     (c)  to develop codes of practice;

                     (d)  to issue technical and procedural guidelines in relation to GMOs;

                     (e)  to provide information and advice to other regulatory agencies about GMOs and GM products;

                      (f)  to provide information and advice to the public about the regulation of GMOs;

                     (g)  to provide advice to the Ministerial Council about:

                              (i)  the operations of the Regulator and the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee; and

                             (ii)  the effectiveness of the legislative framework for the regulation of GMOs, including in relation to possible amendments of relevant legislation;

                     (h)  to undertake or commission research in relation to risk assessment and the biosafety of GMOs;

                      (i)  to promote the harmonisation of risk assessments relating to GMOs and GM products by regulatory agencies;

                      (j)  to monitor international practice in relation to the regulation of GMOs;

                     (k)  to maintain links with international organisations that deal with the regulation of gene technology and with agencies that regulate GMOs in countries outside Australia;

                      (l)  such other functions as are conferred on the Regulator by this Act, the regulations or any other law.

28   Powers of the Regulator

                   Subject to this Act, the Regulator has power to do all things necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of the Regulator’s functions.

29   Delegation

             (1)  The Regulator may, by instrument in writing, delegate any of the Regulator’s powers or functions to any of the following:

                     (a)  an employee of the Department;

                     (b)  an employee of another Department or of a Commonwealth authority, if the functions of the other Department or Commonwealth authority relate, whether directly or indirectly, to GMOs or GM products;

                     (c)  an officer or employee of a State agency, if the functions of the State agency relate, whether directly or indirectly, to GMOs or GM products.

             (2)  In exercising powers or functions under a delegation, the delegate must comply with any directions of the Regulator.

30   Independence of the Regulator

                   Subject to this Act and to other laws of the Commonwealth, the Regulator has discretion in the performance or exercise of his or her functions or powers. In particular, the Regulator is not subject to direction from anyone in relation to:

                     (a)  whether or not a particular application for a GMO licence is issued or refused; or

                     (b)  the conditions to which a particular GMO licence is subject.