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Tuesday, 26 August 1980
Page: 764

Mr Uren asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 22 May 1980:

(1)   Is he able to state what (a) amount of the pesticides (i) di bromo chloro propane (D.B.C.P.), (ii) phosvel, (iii) endrin, (iv) aldrin (v) chlordane and (vi) heptachlor is presently used in Australia, (b) are the purposes for which each of these pesticides is used and (c) restrictions apply to the use of these pesticides.

(2)   Can he state, in each case, whether any bans apply to their use in (a) the United States of America, (b) Canada and (c) Sweden.

(3)   In the case of each pesticide, to what extent are they (a) manufactured in Australia from raw materials (b) manufactured in Australia from imported precursors and (c) imported into Australia.

Mr Nixon (GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA) (Minister for Primary Industry) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   (a) (i)-(vi) Official usage data is not available for the pesticides in question. It is understood however that phosvel is not used in Australia and that any remaining uses of endrin are likely to be very minor only, and from residual stocks as imports have ceased. Of the remaining products, I am advised that estimated usage of di bromo chloro propane (DBCP) was 25 tonnes in 1979, the product being used in Victoria and South Australia only. Estimated usage of aldrin was some 1 50 tonnes in the same year, mainly, it is understood, for non-agricultural purposes.

(   1 ) (b) The purposes for which each pesticide is used are:

(i)   DBCP - root nematode control in vineyards and citrus orchards

(ii)   Phosvel- not used in Australia

(iii)   Endrin- principally against bollworm in cotton. Alternative materials have generally replaced several minor uses against aphids

(iv)   Aldrin - principally for protection of timber, buildings and structures against termites. Also to some extent against soil inhabiting insect pests of sugarcane in Queensland and tobacco in Victoria

(v)   Chlordane - principally against ants, spiders, termites and borers. Also used against soil inhabiting insect pests of turf and several fruit and vegetable crops

(vi)   Heptachlor against soil inhabiting insect pests of certain fruit and vegetable crops, sugarcane and lucerne.

(1)   (c) Of the pesticides in question, phosvel is not registered or available for use in Australia. The National Health and Medical Research Council has recently added DBCP to the Prohibited Substances List in its Uniform Poisons Standard. Administrative responsibility for implementing the provisions of this Standard rests predominantly with the States.

The remaining products are permitted for use only in those situations and in the manner indicated on registered labels. Appropriate and informative labelling information including directions for use, safety and first-aid information and the like is a prerequisite in Australia for the registration of agricultural chemicals.

(2)   I am advised that the situation regarding usage of the substances in the United States of America, Canada, and Sweden is:

(a)   United States:

(i)   DBCP- only one remaining use allowed, namely for control of nematodes affecting pineapples in Hawaii

(ii)   Phosvel - manufacture has ceased and product no longer available

(iii)   Endrin - permitted for use subject to local restrictions, specified uses including pests of cotton, apple orchards, certain cereals, sugarcane, alfalfa seed crops, clover seed crops and conifer seed

(iv)   Aldrin- restricted to non-foodcrop uses such as termite control, root dipping of non-food plants, and some mothproofing applications

(v)   and (vi) Chlordane heptachlor- permitted for structural treatments. Remaining crop uses are being progressively phased out.

(b)   Canada:

(i)   DBCP- no longer registered for use

(ii)   Phosvel - no longer registered for use

(iii)   Endrin - specified uses cover certain insect pests of barley, flax, mustard, oats, rape, rye, wheat and potato

(iv)   Aldrin- for use against subterranean termites in buildings

(v)   Chlordane- for use against certain insect pests in a range of vegetable crops, ornamentals, turf, buildings and furniture

(vi)   Heptachlor- for use against narcissus bulb fly.

(c)   Sweden: None of the substances in question is presently registered in Sweden.

(3)   (a), (b) and (c): None of the substances in question is manufactured in Australia. DBCP aldrin, chlordane and hep.tachlor are either imported ready formulated or imported as active constituents for products formulated in Australia.

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