Australian government industry consultation sessions on the draft National Code of Practice for Chemicals of Security Concern were recently held in capital cities during February. The sessions outlined how the government is looking at issues of chemical security and storage. Many chemicals that we use every day have been used by terrorists to make homemade explosives.
The Australian and state and territory governments have decided to pursue a voluntary code of practice for businesses that manage, handle or use products containing 11 chemicals that are precursors to homemade explosives. The concept being that Business and Australian governments need to work together to detect and prevent the use of chemicals for terrorist purposes and ensure a safer Australia.
The sessions were also attended by some major players in chemical storage and transport such as Orica and Toll transport.
The concern for growers is that the Government might be looking to remove certain fertilisers from use, and as a bi product, sabotaging the horticulture industry in terms of accessibility to key fertilisers. However, it seems that the Government are up front at this stage in stating that they can’t remove domestic products such as hair dyes, pool chemicals, cleaning products and insecticides from the market. The emphasis is certainly more on being aware of the risks and reporting any behaviour that seems suspicious.
So that the industry can be more informed, there is a website that lets you have a look at the draft Code and also make comment, before 1 March 2013
You can access the draft code at http://www.chemicalsecurity.gov.au/PublicConsultation/Pages/default.aspx.
Growers are urged to look at the site and have a read of the draft code. The more people that read this document, the better chance the industry has of spotting any issues that might cause concern or have a negative impact on businesses.