The Gene Technology Act 2000 establishes two advisory committees to provide advice to the Gene Technology Regulator (the Regulator) and the Legislative and Governance Forum on Gene Technology (LGFGT; formerly the Gene Technology Ministerial Council):
- The Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee (GTTAC) provides expert scientific and technical advice. It must include a person who is a member of GTECCC, and a layperson.
- The Gene Technology Ethics and Community Consultative Committee (GTECCC) provides advice on ethical issues and on matters of general concern to the community that relate to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It must include a person who is a member of GTTAC and a person who is a member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee. GTECCC replaced the former Gene Technology Community Consultative Committee and the Gene Technology Ethics Committee from January 2008.
Committee relationship structureThe figure below shows the relationships between the committees, the Regulator and the LGFGT.
The LGFGT provides broad oversight of the regulatory scheme and policy principles. It is established by the intergovernmental Gene Technology Agreement 2001 and is comprised of ministers from the Commonwealth and each state and territory. The Gene Technology Standing Committee, a committee of senior officials from all jurisdictions, provides high-level support to the LGFGT.
The Regulator is required to consider policy principles and guidelines that the LGFGT issues when making licensing decisions on dealing with GMOs. The Regulator also provides advice to the LGFGT.
When the Regulator assesses each DIR licence application, the staff of OGTR—with the guidance from the Regulator—prepare a risk assessment and risk management plan (RARMP). The Regulator requests advice from GTTAC on these RARMPs.
More information on the work of the committees including communiqués and other publications can be found on the GTTAC and GTECCC web pages.