Gene Technology (Queensland) Act 2016 To Commence On 1 March 2017

Gene Technology (Queensland) Act 2016 To Commence On 1 March 2017

Queensland Minister for Innovation Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch

New Gene Technology Law To Commence

Victor P Taffa

Queensland’s new gene technology laws will be in step with Commonwealth legislation from next week, creating certainty for research in the state.

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said the Gene Technology (Queensland) Act 2016 would commence on 1 March 2017 following the Commonwealth Government declaring the Act as corresponding to Commonwealth legislation.

“Commencement of the Act will ensure that Queensland’s legislation keeps pace with advances in gene technology.” Ms. Enoch said.

Also the new Act contains a provision whereby Queensland can opt out of future Commonwealth amendments if they are not in the state’s best interest.

“The new Act provides a predictable regulatory environment and removes any period of risk for Queensland scientists.” Ms. Enoch said.

Australia’s gene technology regulatory framework consists of Commonwealth and state laws designed to protect the health and safety of people and the environment by identifying and managing risks associated with gene technology.

“New legislation automatically applies Commonwealth gene technology legislation as laws of Queensland. This is important as prior to the new act, whenever there was an amendment to the Commonwealth’s laws, it meant changing Queensland legislation through a cumbersome and sometimes long amendment process.” Ms. Enoch said.

Ms. Enoch said the new Act ensured that Queensland could keep abreast of constant advances in gene technology.

“Time lag between changes to the Commonwealth legislation and amending Queensland’s previous legislation created uncertainty and potential disadvantages for Queensland research organisations. Those days are now over.”

Ms. Enoch said the new legislation would result in greater confidence for Queensland researchers to plan and invest in future research and innovation.