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Policy Document


Summary and Recommendations -

The following policies and actions were agreed to at the Unit Leaders Meeting on 17 th June 1997:


1. We should always value and generally charge for all plant material released from ANBG. However, charges should be waived in the following circumstances:

. when there are reciprocal arrangements for the supply of material (eg most other Australian botanic gardens and herbaria)

. where we have a legal obligation to provide material without charge

. for ceremonial, promotion and display purposes (note: this needs to be more clearly defined)

. for the Growing Friends

. for on-site educational activities run by our Education Unit

. for non-profit making off-site research or conservation trials that are consistent with the aims of ANBG.

. non-profit making/internally funded research by CPBR

In all these circumstances formal arrangements should be made, the reason why we are waiving charges explained to clients, what their responsibilities are, the dollar value of our services calculated, and detailed records must be kept. The intention is to eradicate unofficial deals and favours and make clients aware of the value of our services.

2. For off-site educational purposes, where there is no resale of material and the educational institution does not charge its students, then the charge should be based on cost recovery only.

3. Profit making and non-profit making institutions that have incomes from fees, charges, grants and royalties (eg CSIRO , universities) should be charged a fee that includes full cost recovery, an administrative overhead, and a royalty if there is resale of the material (for example as the result of applied research or repropagation for sale in nurseries etc).

4. Material must only be released off-site with a formal permit signed by either the Director, or the Director of Living Collections. (From 22 nd May these are the only two officers authorised to sign permits for plant release).

5. Revenue should be used to benefit ANBG in general and not allocated to any particular section. However, there is probably sufficient work to employ an officer full time on plant release so consideration should be given to funding this position.


1. The following officers are nominated to implement this policy:

Plant Records Manager
Seed Bank Manager

2. All officers involved in plant release should keep detailed records of the time spent on this activity for the next six months. This will allow us to determine an appropriate rate for cost recovery.

3. The value of plant material itself should be standardised into 2 or 3 categories based on rarity, existence of other sources, age, and potential commercial value.

4. There will be no release to private individuals unless a clear benefit can be demonstrated.

5. A set of standardised permits, agreements and contracts should be prepared (with appropriate legal advice).

6. The task force will identify all direct and indirect costs, and where there are opportunities for recouping some of those costs. They will develop a business plan and detailed operating procedures. A coordinator will be identified who will set up and maintain a record keeping system and manage accounts etc.

7. There should be further investigation of major commercial opportunities (eg supply of plant material to Israel).

8. The revised policy should be publicised to staff before it is implemented (staff awareness talk).

9. .Quality assurance procedures need to be developed. If we charge we need to be able to make some performance/quality guarantees.

10. Information on plant locations should be removed from the web site. This applies particularly to ROTAP and other ‘sensitive ‘ taxa.

11. Because of a perceived lack of a national policy on trade in genetic resources ANBG should investigate the possibility of running a national seminar to discuss the issue.


Updated 17 April, 2012 , webmaster, ANBG (anbg-info@anbg.gov.au)