Conduct of the inquiry
The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment Bill
2012 was introduced and read a first time in the House of Representatives on
Wednesday, 28 November 2012.
On 29 November 2012, on the recommendation of the Selection of Bills
Committee, the provisions of the bill were referred to the Rural and Regional
Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee for inquiry and report 27 February 2013.
The reasons given for the Selection of Bills Committee's recommendation were
that there was significant industry and other stakeholder concerns regarding
the efficacy of the bill and that an inquiry would allow for further scrutiny
of the bill.
In accordance with its usual practice, the committee advertised the
inquiry on its website and in The Australian. The committee also wrote
to a number of relevant organisations inviting submissions. Thirty-nine
submissions were received, as shown in Appendix 1.
The committee held a public hearing on Monday, 4 February 2013, in
Canberra. A list of witnesses who appeared at the public hearing may be found
at Appendix 2. The references to the Hansard transcript made in this report are
to the proof transcript and page numbers between it and the official transcript
may vary. The Hansard transcript of the hearing is available online at the
House of Representatives inquiry
The House of Representatives also referred the bill to its Standing
Committee on Agriculture, Resources, Fisheries and Forestry for inquiry. That
committee held a public hearing on the same day as the Senate committee and
heard from many of the same witnesses. At the time of writing the House of
Representatives Committee's report had not been tabled in the House.
Purpose of the bill
The bill is intended to implement 'reforms to the approval, registration
and reconsideration of agricultural and veterinary (agvet) chemicals to improve
the efficiency and effectiveness of the current regulatory arrangements and
provide greater certainty to the community that chemicals approved for use in
Australia are safe'.
If passed by the Parliament, the following Acts would be amended:
- Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1994;
- Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994;
- Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act
- Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Collection of Levy) Act
Structure of report
The remaining chapters of this report are as follows:
- Chapter 2 describes the background to the bill including the
current regulatory environment and the key provisions of the bill; and
- Chapter 3 describes the key issues raised during this inquiry
including the provisions for re-registration and re-consideration; the
risk-based registration process; minor use; costs; and enforcement.
The committee appreciates the time and effort of all those who provided
both written and oral submissions to this inquiry – particularly in view of the
short time frame. Their work has assisted the committee considerably in its
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