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Primary producers

Primary producers who use agricultural chemicals which are regulated substances will be affected by the commencement of the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 (the MPA) on 27 September 2021.

The main objective of the MPA is to manage risks to public health from the use of regulated substances for industrial, agricultural and domestic purposes. The MPA has integrated the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 (HDPR) and the Pest Management Act 2001 into a single regulatory system as they both apply to the use of chemicals.

Pest management under the MPA

The MPA only applies to pest animals and not pest plants or plant diseases. Therefore, the MPA applies to the use of pesticides and fumigants as defined by the MPA but not the use of fungicides or herbicides.

Employees, agents and volunteers

Individuals carrying out pest control management activities must hold a pest control or fumigation licence. Exemptions for pest control activities by primary producers remain. This means employees of primary producers, including agents and volunteers, are not required to have a licence for pest control or fumigation activities carried out at the employer’s premises. However, they may need to meet the requirements of an ‘Approved Person’ (see Approved Person Table).

Commercial contractors and fee-for-service pest management

Commercial contractors providing such services must be authorised under the MPA.

If the primary producer contracts out pest control and fumigation activities to a commercial operator, the person applying the pesticide or fumigant must hold an appropriate pest management licence unless they are an ‘approved person’ under the MPA.

Likewise, if a primary producer undertakes fee-for-service pest management activities for another primary producer, they will also require a pest management licence or be classified as an approved person. An approved person is a person prescribed under Schedule 1 of the Medicines and Poisons (Pest Management Activities) Regulation 2021 and has the relevant competency or training to carry out the specific pest management activity without a pest management licence.

For more details, including about the HDPR, Pest Management Act 2001 and other relevant information relating to primary producers, read the Poisons and pest management for primary producers fact sheet (PDF 483 kB).

Applying for a licence

Apply for a pest management licence by using Pest management application forms and fees.

The following table provides scope of activities and requirements, including limitations, for exempted and approved persons.

Primary production sector exempted and approved persons

Exempted persons

Exempted persons

Scope of pest management activity

Requirements

Limitations

Primary producers and their agents. This includes employees and volunteers.

Applying pesticides (including rodenticides) and fumigants on plants and animals at land owned or occupied by primary producer.

Refer to sections 14, 19 and schedule 1 (Dictionary) of the Medicines and Poisons Act for the definition of pesticides.

Nil

Does not apply to the use of 1080, strychnine or Para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP).  An Approval is required as is currently the case.

Approved persons

An approved person is authorised to carry out the pest management activity without a pest management licence provided they have the specified competency or licence. They will be required to comply with provisions in the Medicines and Poisons (Pest Management Activities) Regulation 2021.

Approved person

Scope of regulated activity

Requirements

Limitations

Commercial fee for service operators working in primary production.

On farm ground spraying of pesticides on crops and horticulture produce.

Licenced as a commercial operator under the Agricultural Chemicals Distribution Control Act 1966

Applies to all areas within the state.

Does not apply to laying baits, for example, rodent baits or fumigation activities. These activities require a licensed pest management technician.

Persons (employees) working in post-harvest facilities (e.g. packing sheds).

Spraying of, or immersion in, pesticides of harvested agricultural or horticultural produce.

Core pesticide competencies AHCCHM304 and AHCCHM307

or

Supervised pesticide competency AHCCHM201. Person supervising should have PMT licence.

Does not apply to laying baits e.g. rodent baits or fumigation. These activities require a licensed pest management technician.

Persons providing commercial ectoparasite treatments of animals (e.g. cattle dips).

Using pesticides to control pests on animals

Core pesticide competencies

AHCCHM304 and AHCCHM307

or

Supervised pesticide competency AHCCHM201. Person supervising should have a pest management technician licence.

N/A

Primary producers who are rural land holders and their agents

Applying low risk fluoroacetic acid (less than or equal to 0.05% fluoroacetic acid) baits on their properties as part of coordinated baiting program

 

Only applies to fresh or manufactured fluoroacetic acid baits supplied by an authorised Officer under the Biosecurity Act 2014

Commercial pilots

Aerial spraying of pesticides or distribution of 1080 baits using manned aircrafts.

  • holds a commercial pilot licence issued by CASA that is endorsed with an aerial application rating; and
  • holds, or is employed by the holder of, an air operator’s certificate issued by CASA that is endorsed with an aerial   application rating; and
  • has spraysafe accreditation issued by the Aerial Application Association of Australia Limited.

Applies to all areas within the state.

Limited to baits containing less than or equal to 0.05% fluoroacetic acid.

Pilots of unmanned aircrafts

Aerial spraying of pesticides or distribution of 1080 baits using unmanned aircrafts

Refer to sections 14, 19 and schedule 1 (Dictionary) of the Medicines and Poisons Act for the definition of pesticides.

  • holds a remote pilot licence issued by Civil Aviation Safety Authortity (CASA); and
  • holds, or is employed by the holder of, a remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate issued by CASA; and
  • has obtained a statement of attainment stating the person has successfully completed the core pesticide competencies or has   spraysafe accreditation issued by the Aerial Application Association of   Australia Limited.

Limited to baits containing less than or equal to 0.05% fluoroacetic acid.

Use of poisons in primary production

S7 substances (including fungicides, herbicides, pesticides and fumigants) used in primary production must only be purchased from licenced S7 retailers or wholesalers who are licensed under the MPA. This use of such poisons is limited to workplace use.

Primary producers using high-risk poisons such as strychnine or 1080 in baits for invasive animal control (e.g. wild dogs) will continue to require a general approval, unless they are classed as approved persons. An approved person is a person prescribed under schedule 2 of the Medicines and Poisons (Poisons and Prohibited Substances) Regulation 2021 and has the relevant competency or training to carry out the specific regulated activity without a general approval.

Persons dealing with low risk fluoroacetic acid baits (LRFBs) as part of a coordinated baiting program organised by the local government are not required to have a general approval. Approved person provisions apply to primary producers who are rural land holders receiving and applying LRFABs on their properties.

Departmental standards prepared under the MPA set out safety measures and competency requirements to ensure that the high-risk poisons are used safely to prevent public health risks.

For more information regarding invasive animal control using regulated poisons, visit Invasive animal control – Poisons and Prohibited Substances.

Definitions

  • Agent of a primary producer: may include an employee, hired labour, volunteer or neighbour of the primary producer providing an in-kind service
  • S7 substance: an S7 poison or a fumigant or pesticide containing a substance to which the Poison Standard, Schedule 7 applies
  • Primary producer: a person producing or storing agricultural or horticultural products
  • Low-risk fluoroacetic acid baits: baits containing fluoroacetic acid (sodium fluoroacetate (1080)) in a concentration of not more than 0.5 grams for each kilogram of the bait.

Related information

Refer to the Medicines and Poisons (Pest Management Activities) Regulation 2021 and Medicines and Poisons (Poisons and Prohibited Substances) Regulation 2021.

Fact sheets

Departmental standards

Last updated: 24 September 2021