The Agricultural, Silvicultural and Veterinary Chemicals (ASCHEM) Council is a statutory body established under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1995.
The Act provides for the constitution of Council, which consists of:
- the Secretary of the Department of Primary Industries and Water or a person nominated by the Secretary and approved by the Minister for Primary Industries and Water who is the chairperson of the Council; and
- the Secretary of the responsible Department in relation to the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 or a person nominated by the Secretary of that Department and approved by the Minister administering that Act; and
- the Secretary of the responsible Department in relation to the Public Health Act 1997 or a person nominated by the Secretary of that Department and approved by the Minister administering that Act.
The functions of the Council, as listed in the (Control of Use) Act, are:
- to advise the Minister for Primary Industries and Water, the Minister administering the Public Health Act 1997 and the minister administering the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 on matters relating to chemical products and their use;
- to recommend to the Minister the making or orders and regulations under this Act;
- to develop or approve codes of practice in relation to
the handling, of chemical products and the monitoring of residues in
water supplies, food and fibre;
- to monitor guidelines adopted for the use of chemical products nationally and internationally;
- to examine standards of residues and develop guidelines to ensure best practice in the handling of chemical products;
- to examine problems of the use of chemical products in
farming and forestry and identify priority areas for action to minimise
the presence of chemical products and residues;
- to commission research on economic methods to minimise the use of chemical products;
- to perform such other functions as are imposed on it by this or any other Act.
Terms of Reference
Without limiting its statutory functions, the Council's terms of reference are to:
- consider and endorse, if appropriate, Codes of Practice for managing the risks associated with handling and using agricultural and veterinary chemical products, as developed or recommended by the Tasmanian Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Advisory Committee (TAVCAC)
- identify and facilitate opportunities for inter-agency / inter-divisional cooperative programs aimed at identifying, assessing and / or controlling risks from the handling and use of agvet chemicals, including risks associated with residues in food, water or soil.
- facilitate and direct the control and management of urgent and significant issues arising from the handling or use of agvet chemicals which require allocation or sharing of resources between agencies and which have broad adverse community impacts or significant political implications
- review and where necessary, develop strategic plans for minimising the risks associated with the handling and use of agvet chemicals from the perspectives of protecting human and animal health, the environment and trade and promoting clean, high quality agricultural production and market opportunities
- report to Ministers on progress in implementing relevant strategic plans
- act as a reference group for considering and developing State and national policies on the management of agvet chemicals which have impacts across public health, environment and agriculture
- maintain a coordinated inter-agency response strategy to deal with agvet chemical incidents which have the potential to adversely impact health, the environment or trade
- consider and make recommendations on any significant changes to agvet chemicals legislation which involves new policy direction, or which have significant impact on, or implications for, the administration of public health or environmental legislation.
Meetings of the Council
The chair may convene meetings of the Council, whenever considered necessary or appropriate.
Any one of the three members of the Council may ask the chair to convene a meeting of the Council. The chair is obliged to convene a meeting at the request of a member, unless there are exceptional mitigating circumstances.
The procedures at meetings of the Council are as detailed in the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1995.