UPDATE: NEW legislation for agricultural pesticides and chemicals could hit the horticulture industry hard.The Bill will introduce mandatory re-registration for agricultural chemicals.
The new Agricultural and Veterinary and Chemicals Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 was introduced November last year, and is now in committee.
"Holders of approval or registration'' would need to periodically apply for re-approval or re-registration every seven to 15 years.
Registration holders would be expected to foot the bill for re-approval or re-registration.
Grower groups have claimed the Bill was introduced without consultation with industry, but DAFF said there had been extensive stakeholder consultation before the Bill was introduced.
"Chemical industry groups, environmental organisations, primary producer associations, Commonwealth, state and territory agencies were all involved in discussions about the Bill and there were three rounds of public consultation,'' the spokesperson said.
The Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry said the introduction of reregistration would bring Australia's pesticide regulator into line with other major regulators around the world such as the US and the European Union.
"These holders only need to provide information they could be reasonably expected to have or to have access to,'' a spokesperson for the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Joe Ludwig said.
"The Bill made clear that the primary purpose of the agvet chemical legislation was to protect human health and the environment.
"It will also modernise the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority's functions, make the chemical assessment process more transparent and easier to understand and to ensure our regulatory system is more predictable, effective and responsive.''
"This bill will provide greater certainty for industry and the community about the agricultural and veterinary chemical system.''
Citrus Australia chief executive Judith Damiani said agrichemical registration and reviews were becoming more challenging.
"We have undertaken a strategic agrichemical review in the citrus industry, identifying and prioritising those chemicals under review,'' she said.
"This means more research and development is required to satisfy the regulatory authorities such as APVMA or to find new alternate products.
"Since the citrus R&D levy has not changed for 20 years this has only increased the pressure on the R&D program.''
The government will provide approximately $8.8 million over four years to the APVMA to support implementation of the reforms.