NSWFA Contact

Robert Hardie

Policy Director - Grain & Horticulture
Ph: (02) 9478-1074
Email: hardier@nswfarmers.org.au

Jennifer Shillabeer

Policy Advisor
Ph: (02) 9478-1003
Email: shillabeerj@nswfarmers.org.au

Ag Chem Committee Members

Name Town
Reg Kidd (Chair) Orange
Alan Brown Wagga Wagga
Guy Gaeta  Nashdale
Matthew Madden (Grains Rep) Moree
David Mailler Uralla
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Agricultural Chemicals

With Australia comprising of less than 1 percent of the world’s market for agricultural and veterinary chemicals and much of our agricultural industry reliant upon export markets, Australia needs an efficient and effective regulatory framework to ensure that farmers have ongoing access to a choice of chemical product to manage pests, weeds and disease.

The NSW Farmers’ Agricultural Chemicals Committee and policy team strive to improve and maximize the returns and sustainability of members at a State and national level. Policy is developed and progressed through close ties with growers, peak industry bodies, Research & Development organizations and all levels of Government.

As part of this process, the Association liaises with a number of National and State Government Departments, National Agricultural and Horticultural bodies.

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Maintain access to and efficacy of AgVet Chemicals

Agricultural chemicals are an important resource for the production of all agricultural commodities, as well as to curb weed pests.  Australia however is a small market for agricultural chemicals in the world, with access and cost of agricultural chemicals being greatly influenced by the Australian regulatory framework.

NSW Farmers seeks to ensure that farmers maintain cost effective access to agricultural chemicals to enable the job of producing food and fibre to continue, and that regulatory decisions on agricultural chemicals utilise a net environmental benefit approach, noting that to remove a chemical from use may have a range of adverse environmental outcomes. 

We are:

  • working with industry to provide guidance to the Government as it develops future reforms for the regulation of agricultural and veterinary chemicals to improve access to productivity enhancing chemicals to improve the competitiveness of Australian farmers.
  • Participating in policy that will facilitate the registration of chemical uses for specialty crops and small livestock industries.
  • monitoring the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicine Authority’s Chemical Review program to ensure that an industry voice is heard in the review of important chemicals.
  • working with industry to manage the threats of chemical resistance.

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Ensuring practical use and fair compliance

Laws surrounding the use of agricultural chemicals need to be practical to implement and be administered fairly by government agencies.  The Memorandum of Understanding between the NSW Liberals and Nationals signed in 2015 commits to looking at the recognition of demonstrable best practice to replace training regulation, including pesticide re-training as a way to lower unnecessary regulatory burden on farmers.

We are:

  • calling upon government to recognise farmers expertise in chemical application, industry professional development and stewardship to reduce bureaucratic pesticide use requirements which do not add value to the production or the environment.
  • calling for government agencies to concentrate on working with farmers to ensure regulatory requirements are practical and to provide awareness as to legal obligations, instead of heavy handed compliance which builds distrust and opposition to compliance agencies.
  • engaging with the APVMA's spray drift review to foster innovative regulatory processes that will build positive incentive to adopt technologies that improve spray performance and efficiency.



Withholding Periods and Export Slaughter Intervals

Most chemicals have a withholding period to assist farmers, traders, abattoirs and exporters manage the risk of unsafe levels of the chemical entering into the human food chain protecting human safety as well as maintaining access to international markets. 


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