3. Sections 50, 50A and 51 of the Gene Technology Act 2000 (the Act) outline the matters which the Gene Technology Regulator (the Regulator) must take into account, and with whom he must consult, in preparing the Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plans (RARMPs) that form the basis of his decisions on licence applications. In addition, the Gene Technology Regulations 2001 (the Regulations) outline matters the Regulator must consider when preparing a RARMP.

4. In accordance with section 50A of the Act, the Regulator considered information provided in the application and was satisfied that its principal purpose is to enable the applicant to conduct experiments. In addition, limits have been proposed on the size, locations and duration of the release and controls have been proposed by the applicant to restrict the dissemination and persistence of the GMO and its genetic material in the environment. Those limits and controls are such that the Regulator considered it appropriate not to seek the advice referred to in subsection 50(3) of the Act. Therefore, this application is considered to be a limited and controlled release and the Regulator has prepared a RARMP for this application.

5. Section 52 of the Act requires the Regulator to seek comment on the RARMP from the States and Territories, the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee (GTTAC), Commonwealth authorities or agencies prescribed in the Regulations, the Minister for the Environment, local council(s) where the release is proposed to take place, and the public. The advice from the prescribed experts, agencies and authorities and how it was taken into account is summarised in Appendix B. Two submissions were received from the public and their consideration is summarised in Appendix C.

6. Section 52(2)(ba) of the Act requires the Regulator to decide whether one or more of the proposed dealings may pose a ‘significant risk’ to the health and safety of people or to the environment, which then determines the length of the consultation period as specified in section 52(2)(d). The Regulator considered that the dealings proposed do not pose a significant risk to either people or the environment.