Draft report of agvet regulatory framework review provides opportunity to commence work for building next-generation regulator

    16 December 2020

    CropLife Australia welcomes the release of the draft report by the independent panel conducting the review of Australia’s agricultural and veterinary chemical regulation framework.

    Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia, the national peak industry organisation for the plant science sector, Mr Matthew Cossey, said, “This review provides an opportunity to modernise the agricultural chemical regulatory system, deliver genuine efficiency gains and ensure Australia maintains a world-class scientifically and technically competent regulator.

    “The APVMA plays a crucial role in ensuring Australian farmers have access to safe, effective and modern crop protection products that enable them to farm more productively, profitably and sustainably. These products are also crucial for our nation’s environmental land managers combatting threats to our natural environment.

    “Ensuring Australia’s complex regulatory framework is able to adapt to the fast pace of innovation in plant science is critical to enabling the APVMA to become a next generation regulator. The regulatory framework must be considered in its entirety to ensure changes are well considered and add real improvement. Australia’s farmers and the community need and deserve a world class regulator in this critically important area.

    “The plant science industry’s products directly underpin more than $20 billion a year of Australian farming production. That investment demands a world-class, independent, risk-based regulatory framework for crop protection chemicals, with a clear focus on user, consumer, and environmental safety.

    “This draft report goes some way in suggesting a range of reform initiatives and CropLife and our members will give consideration to the recommendations over the coming months ahead of a formal submission in response. Only recommendations that genuinely improve, strengthen and modernise the entire regulatory system will be supported by CropLife.

    “This reform process must deliver whole-of-industry benefits and be done in a measured way that doesn’t cause unnecessary disruption to the operations of the Regulator. On first reading there appear to be many good recommendations and suggested initiatives, however others look to be nothing more than increased layers of bureaucracy that will not go anywhere to addressing the core inefficiencies of the framework.

    Mr Cossey concluded, “The plant science industry will continue to constructively participate in this review to ensure that it can be used as the foundation of a genuine reform process.”