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Biosafety Committee - Membership and Terms of Reference

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Section 1 - Establishment

(1) The Biosafety Committee of Charles Sturt University (the University) was originally established by the Board of Governors on 17 August 1995 (BG95/129). Amended by the University Council on 6 December 2001 (CNL01/235) and again on 30 May 2002 (CNL02/74) to ensure compliance with the Gene Technology Act (2000) and associated Regulations.

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Section 2 - Membership

(2) The Biosafety Committee (IBC) is comprised of expert members only. The IBC members are nominated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) in accordance with the requirements of the Gene Technology Act (2000), the Gene Technology Regulations (2001) and the Guidelines for Accreditation of Organisations.

(3) The IBC shall comprise the following membership:

  1. up to two members from each School of the Faculty of Science;
  2. at least one member from Schools of other Faculties of Charles Sturt University (the University) where other disciplines under the purview of the IBC are being represented;
  3. Manager, University Laboratories;
  4. one Laboratory Manager or Technical Officer from the Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst, Orange and Wagga Wagga campuses;
  5. at least one member who is independent of the University and has no ongoing, substantive association (including personal, pecuniary or research interests) with matters likely to be considered by the IBC;
  6. any additional person who has a particular area of expertise which is deemed desirable by the IBC to fulfil the requirements of its function.

(4) The areas of expertise to be represented by these members shall include the following:

  1. animal biology;
  2. Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) experience and expertise;
  3. biological safety;
  4. microbiology and molecular biology;
  5. parasitology;
  6. plant pathology;
  7. agronomy;
  8. entomology; and
  9. recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) technology.

(5) The University has indemnified the members of the IBC, in relation to general areas of IBC operations and in particular for operations involving gene technology, against professional legal liability.

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Section 3 - Terms of Reference

(6) In accordance with the conditions of the University's accreditation instrument under the Gene Technology Act, the Biosafety Committee (IBC) is responsible for ensuring compliance with respect to protecting the health and safety of people and the environment by identifying risks at the University posed by biological and microbiological materials (including g enetically modified organisms (GMOs)) used in teaching or research. Such compliance is pursuant to the provisions of the Gene Technology Act (2000) and the Gene Technology Regulations (2001), AQIS and other related state or federal legislation.

(7) The powers and responsibilities of the IBC are:

  1. with respect to microbiological materials (including GMOs) used in teaching or research within the University, that can produce harm to the health of workers, as defined under the Model Work, Health and Safety Bill 2011 (to include staff, students and visitors at Charles Sturt University), or cause harm to the environment:
    1. certify that laboratories are of an approved containment standard before they are used for particular teaching, research or commercial activities;
    2. consider and approve applications for dealings with GMOs from the University staff and students. Such approvals will include approval of the classification of the dealing;
    3. consider and provide advice to Charles Sturt University works with respect to applications for dealings with GMOs which require licensing from the Gene Technology Regulator;
    4. approve, promulgate and monitor relevant policies, procedures and guidelines applying to risks and hazards posed by biological and microbiological materials (including GMOs) at the University. Such policies, procedures and guidelines shall be published in a Biosafety Manual;
    5. keep a record of all organisms of Risk Category 2 or above held in laboratories, and inspections and certification of facilities;
  2. receive annual reports from Laboratory Managers that notify the IBC of the acquisition, distribution and destruction of microbiological materials in their laboratories during the previous twelve months;
    1. additional reports may be required by the IBC, or submitted by the Laboratory Managers in exceptional circumstances;
  3. report quarterly to the University Finance, Audit and Risk Committee through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) on mechanisms to minimise the risk to all staff, students and visitors to the University;
  4. submit an annual report on its activities to the University Council;
  5. receive and respond to complaints and issues of non-compliance raised by any person.
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Section 4 - Conflict of Interest

(8) In carrying out the functions outlined in Section 3, the Biosafety Committee shall ensure that no member adjudicates on any research proposals in which they may have a personal interest. Any member with such a personal interest shall vacate the meeting room while a decision is being made on the proposal concerned.