Ag committee recommends adoption of chemical legislation

The House of representatives  Agriculture Commiittee today published its report into the Agriculture and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment Bill 2012.

The Explanatory Memorandum states the “Bill implements reforms to the approval, registration and reconsideration of AgVet chemicals to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the current regulatory arrangements and provide greater certainty to the community that chemicals approved for use in Australia are safe. The Bill makes it clear that the health and safety of human beings, animals and the environment is the first  priority of the regulatory system.”

The Committee took evidence from representatives of the chemical and farming industries, animal health and environmental organisations, and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) who regulates the industry.

The Committee agreed with the broad view from stakeholders that modernising regulation of the AgVet sector is necessary, and has therefore recommended that the Bill be passed by the House. 

Committee Chair Dick Adams said that “some chemicals in Australia have never been tested against modern standards and now is the time to ensure that all chemicals sitting in peoples back sheds around Australia are safe and also won’t harm the environment.”

While recommending passage of the Bill, the Committee notes that many industry stakeholders still hold concerns about some provisions. The Committee has therefore stressed the importance of a thorough evaluation within five years to ensure the regulations take implementation realities into account and if necessary can be adjusted.

Copies of the report can be obtained from the Committee’s website.