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TAS Country : June 7th 2012
14 Tasmanian Country Friday, June 8, 2012 Opinion TFGA A victory sprayed with sense TFGA matters with Jan Davis UNREASONABLE: Changes to chemical spray laws would have applied to farmers but not government agencies. I WOULD like formally to announce, since they will not tell you, that the State Government has withdrawn its proposed changes to regulations governing the use of chemical sprays that were to have come into force at the start of the year. They were delayed for three months. They were supposed to have come into effect on April 1 (which would have been appropriate) and now they have been set aside and the original regu- lations stand. I'm happy with that. Regular readers of Tasmanian Country will be well aware that the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers As- sociation and 15 other industry organ- isations fought these changes, tooth and nail, on the basis that they were bureaucracy gone mad. In true Yes Minister fashion, the new regulations would have applied to farmers using sprays but not to govern- ment staff or their contractors. Why? Farmers have to use chemicals to control weeds, pests and diseases. They agree they should do so within a sensible regime that does not harm the environment and also does not affect their own competitiveness. Soundly based regulations of chemi- cal use provide security for farmers who need to use sprays. They are aware of community concern relating to the use of chemicals. Poorly drafted regulations do nobody any good, far- mers or the community. Why were government agencies and their contractors to be exempted from the ambit of the regulations? If they were to apply to farmers, why not to others who apply sprays? In any normal jurisdiction, that would amount to discrimination, The proposed changes would have imposed limits on the trace amount of elements detectable in drinking water that would have applied nowhere else in the world. Allowable levels of the herbicide glyphosate would have been 100 times more stringent than the rest of the country. The permissible level of the insecticide diazinon would have been more than three times tougher than the rest of the country. Those regulations would have cre- ated a problem for Tasmania that no other state faced. That was unnecessary when there is a national consensus on chemical residue levels pending. The Government spent five wasted years working up its new formulae with little or no consultation with those groups most directly affected. Perhaps it figured it could ignore us, but when it came to the Legislative Council it was another matter. The members of the Upper House backed farmers and re- fused to amend the legislation that would have enabled the regulations to become law. Our view is that the Government should ensure regulations are rational and reasoned. The regulatory levels proposed in the draft regulations on chemical spraying were clearly unreasonable. As I said at the start, the new regulations were to have come into force at the beginning of the year. They were delayed for three months. We joined the other groups at a round table with the Government in mid-March, but there was no compro- mise and we learnt nothing about what was going to happen. Then April 1 came and went and still we heard nothing. Now we have been told, very quietly, that the existing regulations have been extended indefinitely. I guess that amounts to a victory for common sense, but what an absurd path it is that we have had to follow to get to this point. Call for industry accreditation, Page 24 GALSTAR MAXY GALSTAR EXTREME • The biggest GalStar post on the market • Up to 4 times stronger than GalStar Extreme posts • Quality Australian steel for high pressure applications • Hot dipped galvanized with a minimum 600g/sqm zinc coating -- aids in extending the life of wire • Ideal alternative to timber or concrete intermediate posts • The original Waratah post profile. • The most popular rural fence post, which suits a wide range of uses • Quality Australian steel for medium-high pressure situations • Hot dipped galvanized with a minimum 600g/sqm zinc coating -- aids in extending the life of wire MIGHTY POSTS. AWI WOOL CLIP Ho Sh Co c a ma ia ” K i g fli , lic a wo m u co ol (AWI) ” Foo o cu i ua io a ma ag m o io (DPIPWE/Nilo Fa m H al h) ” Su ai a l a u m i a i o m (AWI) ” La ou a i g i a o wool g ow (AWI) ” B i g o o a ili (AWI) ” Ma agi g h a i i g o high la ou ci c (Holm Sac ) OPIC RS P clo F i a , 15 Ju . Fo mo i o ma io o o RS P, l a mail Sh Co c a ma ia Coo i a o , Ca io a Nicholl , a ca . icholl @u a . u.au o call 0427 571 199. s s 4 Inv R Inv sk 9.00 - 3.30 - s 21 J n CALLING ALL WOOLGROWER
May 31st 2012
June 14th 2012