Ag and Vet Chemicals Committee

Chair: Peter Cochrane

Rob McRae
Peter Tischler
Kerry Murphy
Gavin Jamison

Staff Support: Simon Arcus - Policy Director

About the Committee

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals committee advises policy council on issues such as:

  • Chemical Use
  • Chemical Regulation
  • Chemical Record Keeping
  • Access to Chemicals

Submission to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Legislation Amendment Bill

Farmers risk losing access to key farm chemicals under the Federal Government's draft Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Regulation Bill, which demands all chemicals be re-registered every seven to 15 years.

The risk of the new bill is agri-chemical companies will withdraw crucial products from Australia, rather than invest in re-registration.
The VFF has put forward a submission which urges the Federal Government to stick to the current regime of only reviewing chemicals when and if a human health or environmental concern is raised via peer-reviewed research.

National Harmonisation of Agricultural and Veterinarian Chemicals

The VFF has provided a submission to the National Scheme for Assessment, Registration and Control of Use of Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals consultation regulatory impact statement. The submission focuses on our concerns about the proposal to move all states to the same regulations around how agricultural and veterinary chemicals can be used. For growers this means that the off-label access that is currently permitted in Victoria may significantly altered.

A copy of the VFF's submission can be found below.

Chemical Use and Record Keeping

The State has a requirement to keep 9 different pieces of information for each time chemicals are used on farm.  While we have been assisting DPI in getting the information out to farmers to ensure that know of the requirement, in many cases we question whether all of these pieces of information should be required by the DPI.

Currently the following information is required:

  • the product trade name
  • the date the product was used
  • the application rate of the product
  • the crop/commodity that was treated or the situation in which the product was applied
  • the extent of use (the area of land treated, or the volume of water treated, or the volume of stored commodity treated, or the weight of the commodity treated)
  • the location where the product was used
  • the name and address of the applicator/supervisor, and
  • the name and address of the person for whom the application was carried out.

Where a product is being sprayed outdoors (excludes hand-held devices, such as small portable sprayers that can be carried by a person and which are operated manually), the following record must also be made:

  • the wind speed and direction at the time of application.

If using poison baits intended for pest animal control (e.g. 1080 or Pindone baits), the two additional records required are:

  • the date the baiting period began, and
  • the date the baiting period ended.

Currently, we question whether there is a need to require farmers to hold all these details.  While it may be in farmers' best interest to have records that relate to spray drift, it may not be sensible that the requirements are legally required.  We can understand that information relating to food safety are required, but it may be worth considering if the spray drift information is needed.