Published: 04 April 2019

Legislative Council Tuesday 2 April, 2019


With regard to the aerial spraying of herbicides on forestry plantations - 

(1) What measures are taken to prevent drift onto neighbouring properties, particularly their roofs, where water is captured as drinking water? 

(2) How close can spraying operations occur to residential or other areas where people live, work or participate in recreational activities? 

(3) Over what period is there a risk of water run-off from sprayed areas in the event of rain occurring soon after spraying? 

(4) How is the water run-off risk managed? 

(5) What advice is provided to neighbours with regard to precautions taken, other than provision of the Notice of Intent for Herbicide Spraying Operations, to minimise exposure for neighbours?


Mr President, I thank the member for Murchison for her question.

(1) Under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1995, aerial spraying of agricultural chemicals must not adversely affect any person, plant, stock, agricultural produce, water bodies, groundwater or soil on neighbouring or nearby properties. 'Adversely affects' means creating a residue in excess of the prescribed level. Therefore, spraying activities must not result in spray drift onto neighbouring properties which causes an adverse effect.

(2) Permission is required to aerially spray chemicals within 100 metres of a dwelling or occupied building. Aerial spraying must not occur during school hours over or within one kilometre of any school.

(3) The risk of water and chemical run-off depends on the chemical product being sprayed. The directions on product labels approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority manage this risk. For example, some product labels include a statement about not applying the product within a certain time of rainfall events.

In Tasmania these label statements are enforced under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1995.

Under this legislation it is an offence to apply chemicals not in accordance with a product label directions.

(4) The water run-off risk is managed by conducting aerial spraying activities according to the product label directions.

(5) Apart from notifying neighbours of the intention to spray, if the aerial spraying is within one kilometre of a school, the property manager responsible for the spraying being conducted must advise the school principal of where the spraying will take place and the details of the chemical products being used. Occupiers of properties within 100 metres of the target crop must not only be notified but also informed of the safety precautions being taken to avoid spray drift.

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