Gene technology is defined as any technique for the modification of genes or other genetic material, but does not include sexual reproduction, homologous recombination or any other techniques specified in the Gene Technology Regulations of the Gene Technology Act 2001.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are organisms which have been modified by gene technology or organisms that have inherited traits that occurred in the initial organism because of gene technology. Therefore, even if you do not construct the GMO yourself, the act of propagation (i.e. growing the strain in the laboratory) falls within the definition.
You must gain approval from the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) prior to commencing teaching or research involving genetically modified organisms.
Please consult the following two documents, for important information about working with viral vectors, before completing your application:
The University's Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) assesses and reviews all proposals involving dealing with GMOs and, where required by the OGTR guidelines, submits them for assessment.
There are four types of dealings for GMOs. You will need to fill out the application form(s) relevant to the dealing your teaching or research intends to undertake.
- Exempt dealing: These are dealings that pose negligible risk as assessed over time, are contained within a facility and will not be released into the environment. The use of an exempt dealing organism does not require a licence however researchers must notify the Institutional Biosafety Committee of projects using exempt dealing GMOs.
- Notifiable Low Risk Dealings: These are dealings that pose low risk (as assessed over time), must be contained within a certified facility with an accredited organisation, and must be transported, stored and disposed of within OGTR guidelines for transport of GMOs.
Application for Exempt and Notifiable Low Risk Dealings (Word doc)
This application form should be completed for all Exempt and Notifiable Low Risk category GMO dealings to be undertaken by University Personnel or to be undertaken by other personnel within University premises
Application Guiding Document (PDF - Prepared
Note: the Application for Exempt and Notifiable Low Risk Dealings Form was updated in October 2012, following changes to OGTR requirements and Gene Technology Regulations. This document has been prepared to assist you in completing your application.
Application to Modify an Approved Exempt or Notifiable Low Risk Dealing
This application form should be completed for minor changes to approved Exempt and Notifiable Low Risk category GMO dealings.
Application for licence for dealings with a GMO not
involving intentional release of the GMO into the environment (DNIR) (OGTR website)
- Application for licence for dealings with a GMO involving intentional release of the GMO into the environment (DIR) (OGTR website)
Completed application forms must be submitted to: email@example.com
Once you submit your application, feedback (which might include the requirement that your application be considered by a full Institutional Biosafety Committee meeting) will take a maximum of 10 working days. Please contact the IBC Executive Officer if you have not had a response within this timeframe.
Current List of PC2 Certified Laboratories
Virtual Accident - Online Biosafety Training
Policies and guidelines
Refer to University policy RES 4.3 and the University of South Australia Biosafety Manual. The manual summarises the operation of the University's biosafety management system and provides links to other relevant resources. It includes useful information on working with biohazardous materials and genetically modified organisms, the approvals and physical containment facilities required for different types of dealings and the role of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) in overseeing research and teaching activities.
The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) gives full information about genetically modified organisms and the regulations governing gene technology in Australia. The University of South Australia is an accredited organisation under the Act. OGTR guidelines must be adhered to.
Reporting Unintentional Release
Transportation and Storage
Any proposed transportation, storage and disposal of GMO material is considered an aspect of the dealing and requires approval as part of your application to the IBC. The Guidelines for these aspects are covered in the OGTR Guidelines for the Transport, Storage and Disposal of GMOs.
- Essentially yours: the protection of human genetic information in Australia (Australian Law Reform Commission Report 2003)
- NHMRC Publications - The NHMRC provides guides and publications on a wide range of topics
- Gene Technology Act 2001
- Gene Technology Regulations 2002
- National Health Security Act 2007
- National Health Security Regulations 2008
Related codes and guidelines
AS/NZS 2243.3:2010 - Safety in laboratories - Microbiological aspects
and containment facilities.
Electronic copies can be accessed via the SAI Global online public database through the UniSA Library - note you must log in to the database via the Library as a staff member or student to access this online.