The department received twenty responses during the consultation period. Nineteen of the responses were supportive with some seeking clarification or amendment on particular issues. There was one non-supportive response.
Following that consultation, the new Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Agricultural Chemical Record Keeping) Regulations 2020 have been implemented under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007. Some Frequently Asked Questions and a template to help with your recordkeeping are also now available.
Background and outline of the Regulations
In 2008 the Productivity Commission released a report on the regulation of chemicals and plastics. In response, the Council of Australian Governments directed the Primary Industries Ministerial Council (now AgMin) to develop a single national framework to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the regulation of agricultural chemicals and veterinary medicines (agvet chemicals).
These reforms aim to address current variations in states and territory regulation, relating to:
- licensing and competency requirements for fee for service chemical users
- competency requirements for chemical users of schedule 7 and restricted chemical products
- improving the consistency of monitoring for chemical residues
- access to chemicals and the variation in off-label use restrictions and
- record keeping requirements for agvet chemical use.
To meet the requirements of the single national framework, in relation to record keeping for agricultural chemical use, the proposed Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Agricultural Chemical Record Keeping) Regulations 2020 will require the following records to be kept for agricultural chemical product applications:
- the date and the time of application
- the name and contact details of the responsible owner/occupier and the person who applied the chemical
- the location of the chemical application
- the name of the agricultural chemical product or products used
- method of application
- the rate of application or other information to allow the determination of application rate
- the situation, crop or commodity to which the chemical was applied
- additional records as required by the product label or permit of the chemical product used.
The records must be available for inspection if requested by an inspector.
Exemptions from the requirement to keep records will include use of home garden products, use in dwellings, sanitisers for public swimming pools and products used in limited quantities.