The Regulator has 170 working days in which to make a decision to issue or refuse a licence.
The Regulator conducts an initial assessment to determine if there is any 'significant' risk. If 'significant' risk is identified, then the Regulator conducts a public consultation, and provides a summary of the application. The Regulator then seeks input from prescribed expert groups and key stakeholders.
The second stage is a thorough risk assessment - including advice from expert groups and key stakeholders. A risk management plan is prepared with the proposed licence conditions if approval is anticipated (this would include such things as managing the GM crop on-farm). Comment is then sought from prescribed agencies and local councils.
Public input on the draft plan is sought via newspaper advertisements and mailouts. Submissions relating to public health/safety/environment are then taken into account in the final plan.
This second stage takes on board a wealth of scientific information. For example, in the case of GM canola, the Gene Technology Regulator considers data on pollen flow and pollen viability.