Media Release

Agvet chemical reform reduces burden on Australian farmers

14 July 2014

New agvet chemical legislation passed parliament today in a significant win for Australian farmers and the wider agriculture sector.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the new legislation reduces the burden of regulation by $1.3 million per year and delivers greater efficiency and lower costs for agriculture and industry whilst ensuring that existing protections aren't compromised.

"This legislation is a victory for common sense. Agvet chemicals contribute to 68 per cent of all crop production in Australia and are critical to our nation’s $47.9 billion per annum farming industry," Minister Joyce said.

"We have listened to industry and farmers, and removed unnecessary costs and paperwork that would otherwise have been required to re-register all chemicals.

"I note that these amendments have been widely welcomed by industry stakeholders including the National Farmers Federation, Growcom, Animal Medicines Australia, Plastics and Chemical Industries Association and CropLife Australia.

"At the last election, the Coalition committed to removing the unnecessary chemicals re-registration scheme – we have now delivered on that commitment."

Minister Joyce said today’s legislation delivers clear benefits for the agriculture sector by eliminating the requirement for agvet chemical re-registration while maintaining robust review mechanisms so that Australians can have confidence in the safety of these chemicals.

"These very practical and sensible amendments will ensure we have an effective and efficient regulatory framework for agriculture and veterinary chemicals that manages the risks associated with their use," Minister Joyce said.

"Approvals will no longer end after a particular period and registrations may be renewed perpetually. The legislation removes redundant provisions that allow applications to re-approve and re-register active constituents and chemical products.

"The legislation also improves the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority's ability to secure information about the safety of chemicals supplied in the market and streamlines the process companies have to go through to vary an approval or registration.

"The Authority will no longer have to make an unnecessarily costly and lengthy assessment of simple changes to chemicals, such as the name of the chemical, its pack size or name of manufacturer."

Minister Joyce said the reforms had been developed in close consultation with industry and communities alongside state and territory governments.

"It is one of the ways that this government is working with the Australian community to ease the burden imposed on the national economy and agricultural sector by reducing red and green tape on business by at least $1 billion per year," Minister Joyce said.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Removing Re-approval and Re-registration) Act 2014 comes into effect on royal assent.