Genetic modification

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development conducts research, development and extension activities in collaboration with industry partners to improve the productivity and profitability of Western Australian grain growers.

The department is part of the nationally consistent regulatory system that underpins and enhances Australia's and Western Australia's use of safe regulatory approved genetically modified organisms.

The value of Australia’s production and export of grains is dependent on maintaining the competitiveness of WA grains growers. Grain grower’s need access to the most productive new crop varieties to maintain their international competitiveness and genetic modification is a type of plant breeding that can deliver new improved varieties.

The department manages the New Genes for New Environments’ research facilities in Merredin and Katanning. These facilities were designed to enable the evaluation of the world’s best candidate genetically modified traits from both public and private research organisations under Western Australian conditions in a highly contained and safe testing environment. The ‘New Genes for New Environments’ initiative compliments the Managed Environment Facility and together both facilities will improve the long-term profitability of the grains industry by facilitating the adoption of new climate-adapted crops.


  • The Legislative and Governance Forum on Gene Technology (the LGFGT) has announced the review of the National Gene Technology Scheme, and is inviting public submissions to the review.

  • The Western Australian (WA) Government repealed the Genetically Modified Crops Free Areas Act 2003 (GMCFAA) with effect from 28 October 2016.

  • Coexistence: Existing in mutual tolerance; Everyone’s Responsibility

  • This page contains information on commercial and experimental plantings of genetically modified (GM) crops carried in the past and present in Western Australia.

  • Details of current genetically modified (GM) crop trials and post harvest monitoring (PHM) sites in Australia can be found on the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) web page.

  • Genetic modification (GM) is the use of modern biotechnology techniques to change the genes of an organism, such as a plant or animal.

  • Information on the safety of genetically modified (GM) foods and the labelling of GM food in Australia.

  • This page provides links to science-based evidence on genetically modified crops.

  • Canola is an important crop in Western Australia (WA), with production in 2016/17 estimated at 2.15 million tonnes worth around $1.2 billion to the state economy.

  • Gene Technology and genetic modification of crops is a rapidly evolving science. Here we provide some of the more recent developments of importance to Western Australian agriculture.