The Queensland Government has long recognised the importance of biotechnology and the positive effects it could have on the State’s economic and social wellbeing. It also recognised that to be the region’s leader, it would need to progress the development of robust and workable standards relating to safety and bioethics.
The Queensland Government is committed to developing the biotechnology industry within a strong and transparent ethical framework that addresses community expectations and uncertainties, and ensures research is conducted within agreed safety and ethical standards. In support of this commitment, the Government has developed a range of legislative initiatives, and an industry code of practice to help regulate all activities involving new and emerging technologies.
The Code of Ethical Practice for Biotechnology in Queensland, defines the ethical boundaries for organisations undertaking biotechnology activities in Queensland, and covers all areas of biotechnology activity including health care, agriculture, food and the environment. It marks the first time any Government has outlined these principles in a clear and simple statement.
The Research Involving Human Embryos and Prohibition of Human Cloning Act 2003 (Qld) will ensure that any research involving human embryos is strictly regulated. It requires licensing and monitoring of all research using human embryonic stem cells.
To ensure the safety and environmental effects of genetically modified crops are assessed and managed, the Queensland Government developed the Gene Technology Act 2001 as part of a nationally consistent approach to regulating genetically modified organisms in Australia .
The Queensland Government has developed legislation, the Biodiscovery Act 2004 (Qld), which aims to establish a clear, comprehensive and efficient permitting regime for the use of the State's native biological resources, returning a fair an equitable benefit to the community. For further information on bioethics in Queensland please visit the Queensland Government Biotechnology website