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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

5 April 2001

CHEMCOLLECT UNCOVERS 300 TONNES OF CHEMICALS ON FARMS


Autumn marks the beginning of another year of ChemCollect, providing Australian farmers with an opportunity to rid their farms of hazardous or unwanted chemicals. These chemicals will then be safely disposed of, preventing harm to the environment, people and the marketing of our agricultural products.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill today applauded landholders who last year took part in the $27 million national program and cleared more than 300 tonnes of chemicals from their farms.

Run jointly by the Commonwealth, States and Northern Territory, ChemCollect will resume in New South Wales in April, in Queensland in May and in Tasmania around June. Collections for 2001 have just begun in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. The Northern Territory completed its collection last year.

"While 300 tonnes of chemicals collected so far is a phenomenal effort, thousands of tonnes of potentially dangerous chemicals, like DDT, remain on farms," Senator Hill said.

"Under ChemCollect, licensed professional contractors will collect, store, transport, treat and dispose of the many different types of agricultural chemicals being handed in by landholders."

ChemCollect is run on an area-by-area basis and is coordinated by the relevant State environment protection authority.

It particularly targets persistent organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), including DDT, chlordane, dieldrin, aldrin, heptachlor, lindane, hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and chlorinated phenols such as pentachlorophenol. It also collects other unwanted, hazardous rural chemicals.

All Australian primary producers will have had the opportunity to take part in ChemCollect by its expected completion date of the end of 2002.

"Most of the chemicals collected are still registered for use, however some are very old and hazardous chemicals. In some regions of Queensland, for example, up to 10 per cent of the collection was made up of arsenics dating back as far as the prickly pear infestation of the 1920s," Senator Hill said.

A schedule of ChemCollect collections is attached.

Results to February 2001

State or Territory Chemicals collected in 2000 (tonnes)
Queensland 100 (8)*
Victoria 98 (7.3)*
Western Australia 63 (6)*
South Australia 30 (2)*
New South Wales 9
Northern Territory 8.5
* amount of persistent organochlorine pesticides (OCPs)

5 April 2001

Media contact:
Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill) (08) 8237 7920 or 0419 258 364


UPCOMING 2001 CHEMCOLLECT COLLECTION DATES AND AREAS

STATE COLLECTION DATES
VICTORIA 1/May-Dargo
2/May-Sale
3/May-Heyfield
8/May-Traralgon
9/May-Trafalgar
10/May-Warragul
15/May-Yarram
16/May-Foster
17/May-Leongatha
22/May-Cowes
23/May-Wonthaggi
NEW SOUTH WALES 3 April - 3 May - Young, Harden, Boorowa, Crookwell, Yass, Gunning, Mulwaree, Tallaganda and Yarrowlumla Local Government Areas
8-11 May - Shoalhaven, Kiama, Shellharbour
15-19 May -Wollondilly, Wingercaribee
24 May-1 June - Unincorporated Area, Central Darling
5 June-22 June - Carathool, Hay, Leeton, Griffith, Narrandera, Murrumbidgee
26 June-18 July - Wentworth, Balranald, Wakool, Windouran, Murray, Conargo, Deniliquin, Jerilderie, Berrigan
Late July/early Aug - Northern Inland (plains)
Aug/Sept - Inner Central West
Late Sept/Oct - Northern Inland (slopes and tablelands)
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 7-25 May - Lower South East
18-29 June - Riverland
6-24 August - Mid and lower Eyre Peninsula
17 September-6 October - Mid North
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 2-7 April - Esperance, Ravensthorpe, Jarramunup, Gnowangerup, Williams
September/November - Southern wheatbelt region
QUEENSLAND May-July - West, North West
June - Burnett Coast
July - Gulf Cape York
August-October - South West, Southern border
September - Burnett, Mary Valley hinterland
TASMANIA June-August - North West region
Commonwealth of Australia