Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    
Tuesday, 31 May 1994
Page: 1004

(Question No. 1393)

Senator Bell asked the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, upon notice, on 12 May 1994:

  (1) Is it a fact that: (a) the cyclodiene group of organochlorines including heptachlor, aldrin, dieldrin and chlordane are now only permitted to be used for termite control in Australia and may be handled only by licenced pest exterminators; and (b) organochlorine pesticides are used to control pests in sugar cane and banana plantations; if so: (i) what are the yearly quantities of each organochlorine chemical being used, and (ii) where is their use located.

  (2) Are any organochlorine pesticides manufactured or formulated in Australia.

  (3) What restrictions apply to the use of organochlorine pesticides which take account of: (a) proximity to static water bodies and flowing water; (b) urban or rural dwellings; and (c) leaching into soil and water tables.

Senator Collins —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  (1)(a) The labels of heptachlor and chlordane products include a statement to the effect that sale or supply and use is for licenced pest control operators only. Although, in some circumstances State Authorities have the power to permit their use by a person who can demonstrate equal competency to use them.

  The Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (Council) agreed at its April 1994 meeting that the use of organochlorine chemicals for termite control in all States and Territories except the Northern Territory should cease on 30 June 1995. The target date for discontinuing their use in the Northern Territory is 30 June 1997. An extension of time has been allowed in the Northern Territory to allow alternative methods of control to be developed to suit local environmental conditions and building practices.

  The decision affects the chemicals heptachlor and chlordane as aldrin and dieldrin were withdrawn from the Australian market some years ago.

  (1)(b) No for bananas. With respect to sugar cane, Council agreed last year that this use of heptachlor should cease on 31 December 1994. Heptachlor is only used on sugar cane to control funnel ant around Tully and areas further north. On average, 1600 litres per annum have been used to treat sugar cane since 1987.

  (2) No organochlorines are manufactured in Australia. Indeed, I believe the manufacture of aldrin and dieldrin has ceased world-wide. The formulation of heptachlor and chlordane into pesticide products is carried out in Australia.

  (3)(a) The labels of heptachlor and chlordane products include a statement to the effect that neither the chemical nor the chemical container should be allowed to contaminate dams, rivers or streams. Instructions are also included for the rinsing and disposal of containers.

  (3)(b) The products are used according to the Australian Standard Specifications AS2057-1986, Protection of Buildings from Subterranean termites—Chemical Treatment of Soil for Buildings under Construction and AS2178-1986, Protection of Buildings from Subterranean termites—Detection and Treatment of Infestation in Existing Buildings.

  (3)(c) As per (3)(a). Also, the use of these products is premised on their ability to adsorb to soil particles and remain in place for long periods of time.