Agvet Amendment Bill will improve efficiency while protecting human health

    14 July 2014

    Monday 14 July 2014 (Canberra) – An efficient regulatory system that protects human health and safety will be maintained in Australia with the passage of a Bill that removes unnecessary re‑registration and re‑approval of agricultural chemicals.

    “It is pleasing to see both the government and the opposition put party politics aside to provide an appropriate regulatory system for the registration and review of agricultural chemicals,” said Matthew Cossey, Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia. “Improving the efficiency of the regulator will ensure that Australian farmers have greater access to the latest, most effective and safest crop protection products.

    “The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has responsibility to ensure that agricultural and veterinary chemicals are safe for users, the environment and consumers of Australian produce. Re-approval and re-registration would have duplicated the existing Chemical Review Program, increasing red tape and unnecessarily reducing access to products for Australian farmers, while resulting in worse health, safety and environmental outcomes.

    “The passing of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Removing Re‑approval and Re‑registration) Bill 2014 (the Bill) in the Senate today means that the primacy of protecting human health and the environment is maintained and arbitrary time-based reviews will not undermine Australia achieving an efficient and effective regulator.

    The Amendment Bill passed through the House of Representatives and the Senate with the support of the Federal Government and the Opposition.

    “The previous government began the much needed task of efficiency reform of agricultural and veterinary chemical regulation in Australia. Unfortunately, including re-registration and re-approval imposed a regulation that would have been costly and unnecessary.”

    “Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce delivered on the Coalitions election promise by bringing this Bill to the Parliament and Shadow Agriculture Minister the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon has shown a bipartisan commitment to agriculture and Australia’s farmers by supporting the Bill.

    “The agriculture industry should find encouragement in having a Minister and Shadow Minister who are able to put party politics aside for the sake of supporting the Australian farming sector.”

    According to a Deloitte Access Economics report released by CropLife Australia last year, 68 per cent of the total value of Australian crop production, or $17.6 billion of Australian agricultural output, can be attributed to the use of crop protection products.

    “The agricultural chemical sector creates 9,250 full time equivalent jobs across Australia and makes multiple contributions to the economy in areas including exports, manufacturing and trade,” continued Mr Cossey.

    “It is crucial for Australia’s farming sector that the regulatory system protects human health and the environment without adding unnecessary and untargeted processes. The Bill that has passed through Parliament is a big step in the right direction towards more efficient and effective agricultural and veterinary chemical regulation.”

    “Now the obligation is on the regulator to also deliver efficiencies in its operations,” concluded Mr Cossey.

    Contact: Jaelle Bajada (Manager – Public Affairs)  Ph: 02 6230 6399  Mob: 0410 491 261