A Northern Rivers macadamia producer has been fined over its record-keeping of pesticide use.
A Northern Rivers macadamia producer has been fined over its record-keeping of pesticide use. iStock

Macadamia farm fined, pesticide contractor cautioned

A NORTHERN Rivers macadamia producer has been fined for violating pesticide spray rules.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority has fined Seabreeze Macadamias Pty Ltd $1000 for its record-keeping relating to pesticide spray used at a property near Rosebank.

EPA Regional Director North Adam Gilligan said they were investigating an allegation of spraying in windy and gusty conditions when it became clear Seabreeze had no accurate records for the day in question.

He said while the Australian Macadamia Society recommends ideal wind speeds of three to 20km/h while spraying, wind gusts of 52km/h were recorded that day.

Mr Gilligan said it was vital for all horticultural producers to keep complete records to reduce the risk of contamination.

"Growers and users of pesticide have a responsibility to ensure they are using pesticides appropriately, and this includes adequate record keeping," Mr Gilligan said.

"Keeping up to date records is an important regulatory requirement for reducing environmental and health impacts, but also protecting the user by demonstrating the responsible use of pesticides."

Mr Gilligan said an official caution was issued to the pesticide contractor involved as they didn't have the appropriate licence.

Anyone who sprays weeds or pests for a fee or reward has required a licence since July 1 last year.

"Pesticides must only be used by people who have been appropriately trained and understand the requirements and conditions for spraying," Mr Gilligan said.

"The EPA reminds all pesticide contractors who do ground applicator work to apply for a licence before commencing work."

For more information on pesticide record keeping requirements, visit https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/pesticides/compulsory-record-keeping or phone the Environment Line on 131 555.

If you are concerned about illegal pesticide use, or you have knowledge of an incident, please call the 24/7 Environment Line on 131 555.