Safety, Quarantine and Genetic Manipulation Information

All relevant information about specific aspects of biosafety and biosecurity research ethics including genetic manipulation and quarantine can be found here.

Microbiological Safety

All work in laboratories with microorganisms and biological materials should follow the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2243.3, Safety in laboratories Part 3 Microbiological safety and containment. 

This standard is available on-line through the library from Standards Australia.Training on safe work practices in microbiological laboratories is required. 

Contact the Biosafety and Biosecurity Officer for further information.

Manipulation of Genetic Materials

Work involving the manipulation of genetic material must follow the legislative requirements of the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR).

The Laboratory and Biosafety Committee (LBC) acts as the Institutional Biosafety Committee as required by the Gene Technology Act (Commonwealth) 2000.

The LBC reviews and monitors dealings with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) at Deakin University. The LBC also inspects and reports on laboratories and facilities certified by the OGTR.

Quarantine Materials and Quarantine Approved Premises

There are specific requirements regarding the importation, use, storage, transport and disposal of imported biological materials, including animals.

Imported biological materials are considered a potential quarantine risk, particularly if they are used in animal experimentation. They should therefore be considered potentially infectious and handled and disposed of accordingly.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) assesses the pest and disease risk of these imported materials to human, animal and plant health and the environment prior to importation. Individual items are usually assessed as unrestricted, restricted and prohibited, with various conditions attached.

Researchers who wish to import or use restricted materials

  • must obtain an Import Permit
  • may need to keep the imported biological materials or animals in a Quarantine Approved Premises (QAP) 
  • Some imported biological materials, plants or animals must be handled or kept in a Quarantine Approved Premises (QAP). 
  • A QAP is a containment facility that has been approved by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to hold biological materials that are a concern to the Australian environment. DA determines the level of quarantine containment required (QC1 - QC4, low to high risk) and this is stated on the Import Permit.
  • The requirements for a QAP are similar to, but not the same as, the requirements for a Physical Containment facility under AS/NZS 2243.3 and/or the requirements for an OGTR-certified Physical Containment facility.
  • There are several different classes of QAP and each type and level of QAP has criteria for its operation. These types of premises include microbiological, animal and plant facilities. There are four different sets of criteria (5.1 - 5.4) for corresponding quarantine containment levels (QC1 - QC4). Deakin University currently has Class 5 QC2 QAPs.
  • DA audits QAPs according to pre-set audit rates, which depend on the Class of QAP and Review Level. This is currently every 6 or 12 months at Deakin.

http://www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity/import/general-info/qap/class5/criteria

If a QAP is required, there are additional requirements relating to

Transport


  • If you are transporting quarantine material (import, export or transfer between Quarantine Approved Premises), contact the Department of Agriculture (DA) Biologicals unit to obtain information on the appropriate legislation. Links to website
  • Researchers are responsible for keeping records of all imported goods. These records must be made available to Department of Agriculture (DA) Officers for inspection if requested.
  • The following records will need to be available during DA audits:
  • Quarantine Importation / Incoming logbooks
  • Records for Quarantine material in stock
  • Waste collection, treatment and disposal records, including any biowaste transport certificates
  • Transfer / movement records of samples and other materials between QC facilities
  • Quarantine Accredited Person certificates
  • Pest control records
  • Calibration and monitoring records of any equipment used e.g. autoclaves
  • Laundry records
  • Internal annual inspection records for 5.2 containment (if any)
  • Any other relevant records for goods subject to Quarantine
  • Details of any post mortem results (if any)
  • Import permits (if any)
  • Goods subject to continued quarantine must be contained at a QAP unless prior written approval is obtained from DA. For the transfer of quarantine materials between co-located premises (additional premises co-located under the nominated parent QAP; i.e. QAPs physically located on the same campus) or to another QAP, an Application for Transfer of Quarantine Material must be submitted to the DA Biologicals unit for approval.
  • Transport of biological material by post, road, rail or air is regulated. You must complete a Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) approved training course before you may pack or send dangerous goods (such as infectious substances and genetically modified organisms) by air. For more details, contact your Laboratory Manager.

Disinfectants

  • The Department of Agriculture (DA) has approved specific disinfectants for use in QAPs. There are two lists, one for surface and equipment decontamination and a second one for hand decontamination. These are a subset of those disinfectants listed in Table F1 of AS/NZS 2243.3: 2010.

http://www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity/import/general-info/qap/approved-disinfectants-all-classes

Record keeping

Researchers are responsible for keeping records of all imported goods. These records must be made available to Department of Agriculture (DA) Officers for inspection if requested.

The following records will need to be available during DA audits:

  • Quarantine Importation / Incoming logbooks
  • Records for Quarantine material in stock
  • Waste collection, treatment and disposal records, including any biowaste transport certificates
  • Transfer / movement records of samples and other materials between QC facilities
  • Quarantine Accredited Person certificates
  • Pest control records
  • Calibration and monitoring records of any equipment used e.g. autoclaves
  • Laundry records
  • Internal annual inspection records for 5.2 containment (if any)
  • Any other relevant records for goods subject to Quarantine
  • Details of any post mortem results (if any)
  • Import permits (if any)

Further information:

DA Biosecurity  
Export and Quarantine laws
Exporting from Australia

Security Sensitive Biological Agents

The Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) has determined that certain microorganisms pose a potential Biosecurity risk in Australia and hence work with these microorganisms is now legislated by the National Health Security Act 2007. Two lists of microorganisms have been prepared, termed Tier 1 and Tier 2 agents. For full information on this legislation, inclusing the contents of both lists, consult the DoHA website at:http://www.health.gov.au/ssba. Proposals to obtain and work with any of these agents must first be approved by the LBC. Contact the Biosafety and Biosecurity Officer for further information.

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