The Pesticides Regulation 2017 (the Regulation) was gazetted on 1 September 2017 and minor amendments were made on 26 November 2021. It has provisions which deal with:
- Licensing – pest management technicians and fumigators, aerial application pilots and businesses and commercial ground applicators must hold a licence. Pest management technician or fumigator trainees must hold a training permit. Licence application fees and qualifications are prescribed in the Regulation.
- Record keeping – commercial users of pesticides must keep records of their pesticide use. This includes farmers, noxious weed authorities, council sprayers and anyone else using pesticides as part of their business. The details that must be kept vary slightly depending on whether you are a licensed or non-licensed pesticide user. If you are using pesticides in your home for domestic purposes, such as for weed control, you do not have to keep records.
- Training – everyone that uses pesticides in their business or as part of their job must complete mandatory training. For non-licensed pesticide users the Regulation now provides two pathways to maintaining competence in pesticides use. The first is to complete a short refresher course every five years, the second is to be a member of an EPA approved quality assurance (QA) scheme or stewardship program. To be eligible for approval the QA scheme or stewardship program must have content relating to the safe use of pesticides. Training requirements for licensees are separate.
- Notification – some pesticide users must give prior notice of their pesticide use. Public authorities, including NSW Government departments, local councils and universities, applying pesticides in public places, such as parks and ovals, and near sensitive places, such as schools and nursing homes need to develop a notification plan describing how they will provide the public with notice about their pesticide use. Pest management technicians applying pesticides in residential complexes and near sensitive places must also give notice.
Exemptions – there are limited exemptions from certain requirements of the Pesticides Act.
- An exemption allows using a pesticide contrary to the approved label for control of a weed or pest not specified on the label, provided it is not used to control a vertebrate animal and all other instructions on the label are followed. This exemption does not apply to permits.
- An exemption for storage or possession of an unregistered pesticide applies when registration ends, is suspended or cancelled and only if: (a) the pesticide is not used, (b) it is stored so that it does not pose a risk to human health or the environment, and (c) arrangements have been made for the lawful disposal of the pesticide and those arrangements are carried within a reasonable time.